Paige Cameron, CFNN Reporter
Willie West has contributed to Cape Fear High School for nearly 30 years. From working in the cafeteria, from driving buses, to now working as a member of the custodial staff, West has done it all. For Ms. West, Cape Fear High is home, and she couldn’t imagine herself working anywhere else.
West grew up in the Cape Fear community. She attended Stedman High School before it became Cape Fear High. She believes her attachment to Cape Fear comes from this community where she grew up. “This is my home. It’s where I was born and raised.” She said.
She loves living only a few minutes away from work and working close to her family. Once she secured a job at Cape Fear, she knew there was no other school she would want to work at other than Cape Fear.
One of the things she loves most about her job is being able to communicate with the students and help impact their lives. “I’m a people person. I’m used to being around people, so I get to communicate a lot with everybody, adults, and children.”
She loves making a difference, and she does that by talking to students and encouraging them to do well in school and have goals. “If I can help anybody, that’s what I’m going to do.” West said.
West does more than work at Cape Fear. On the side, she runs a privately owned business, Willie’s Boutique. Today she focuses more on working at Cape Fear, but in her free time, she works on people’s hair. She enjoys making her own hours and working when she wants to. “I like doing different things and being flexible.” She said.
Additionally, West is extremely involved in her church. She participates heavily in their community choir, which is made up of five churches in Autryville. She even helps cook for the church and is known as the best vegetable cooker there is. Also, she is the Chairperson of the Finance Committee for the Southern District Convocation.
As West has lived in Stedman all her life, she has gotten to know numerous kids over the years. Today, she becomes a part of a student’s transition from being a high school student to being thrown out in the real world. Her hope is for the students to take advantage of their resources and education given to them so they can achieve their goals for the future.
Willie West is more than just a member of the staff at Cape Fear. Her work as a custodian is only half the reason why our school would be complete without her. The other reason is that West makes a difference in the students by encouraging them and showing them that they can do something useful with their lives.
We hope West will continue to work at Cape Fear for many years to come and continue to make our school a better place.