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It is not an exaggeration to say that Kevin Washington is changing the future. As an intervention specialist with Greenville County Schools, Washington is called in when something has gone wrong.

“I’m one of four total,” he said. “We go school to school to assist with discipline. We can serve as mentors, de-escalate situations. We are the last line of defense before kids see law enforcement.”

Washington said his goal is to reach kids and save lives.

“A lot of the kids we are talking to, we were in their shoes,” he said. “I was headed down the wrong path. Being able to relate to the kids, you can feel what they are saying. You can actually say you’ve walked in their shoes. Being able to relate to the kids, that’s a blessing.”

Washington also reaches students through sports. He is married with two sons, but before he was a dad and an educator, he was a football player. After college, Washington played arena football in several cities, including Greenville. He now serves as the defensive back coach for Mauldin High School, coaches recreation and youth teams and coaches track at Christ Church Episcopal School.

“Football saved my life,” he said.

Now, Washington encourages parents to get their kids involved in sports, something that he said can teach them to push through adversity. It’s part of his commitment to seeing students succeed.

“When you can establish a relationship, they will try to make you happy,” he said. “Kids are smart. They can sense if you are for real or if it’s fake.”

Washington said teaching students some of the keys to success, like showing respect to their teachers, is rewarding, even on tough days.

“I really, truly love what I do,” he said.

Nomination excerpt:

“As an intervention specialist, his job entails traveling between schools throughout the district to assist in emergency situations or support school staff with discipline issues. Mr. Washington goes above and beyond his job requirements to continuously provide support to school staff, families and students, including mentoring students, attending parent conferences with school administration and giving valuable strategies to support teachers with struggling students. In addition, Mr. Washington is one of three creators of the Work in Progress Club at Chandler Creek Elementary. In its third year, the club supports 22 third- through fifth-grade boys to provide weekly lessons in leadership skills. Through grants, each member received dress pants, shirt and bow ties and live by the motto, ‘look good, feel good, do good.’”

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More:Meet Kevin Washington: Greenville County Schools

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