What a joy it is to feature Sharon Oldham in our November Employee Spotlight. Just as her picture portrays, she is a unique and wonderful bundle of energy and happiness. We hired Sharon in May, 2012, as a full-time houseparent substitute. Only a month later she accepted the role of housemother for Park Place and has been caring for those ladies ever since.
Sharon shared with me many of her favorite memories of Stewart Home & School, but recalled one that really stood out. She told of a Family Weekend that included a skit in the play where Brenner was dressed as a bride and one of the boys dressed as her groom. She giggled when she recalled at the end of the skit, Brenner stopped dancing and reached up and gave her groom a big ad lib kiss on the cheek – (not part of the skit). Sharon said she laughed so hard.
Sharon says what has been consistent since she came to Stewart Home & School is the environment – commenting that even during her interview she noted the campus just has a calm and soothing feel and recalls thinking how wonderful that was for the students – how much they need that. She notes the kindness of the staff and how we help each other and loves that the school activities and trips for students are planned with such care and detail for them to have a great time.
If she hadn’t come to work at Stewart Home & School, Sharon says she may have retired, but when she pulled into the gates for her interview, she felt this is where she belonged. She told herself “I still have some good in me and I want to be here – to help.” Sharon says in truth, the students have helped her so much more than she helped them.
Sharon says she is famous for her desserts, for her gentleness and for her internal faith and hope. She is also known for her passion for animals. In fact, the family pets get to open their Christmas presents first at her house. She has had quite the variety – turtles, “Rambo the Commando”, cats, dogs and guinea pigs. She was once nicknamed “pigeon lady” but that is another story. Sharon says her husband, “Mr. Oldham” (who she describes as her rock and foundation) told her she was going to have to “nip” taking in every stray animal because they could not afford to feed them all.
Sharon ended our conversation (as she would) by saying how wonderful everyone at Stewart Home & School has been to her and to thank each one of you. But today, we praise Sharon fir her sweet nature, her infectious smile, her bubbly personality and for the love and compassion she shows.