Teri Sellers suggested to her family and friends that they didn't need to make plans to accompany her to a school celebration on Nov. 23. She would be happy to be there with her school friends.
It's a suggestion Sellers probably has had second thoughts about.
Because they stayed home, Sellers' family members and friends will have to rely on a video that shows her accepting the honor of 2013-14 Hernando County School Related Employee of the Year.
"I didn't realize it was going to be a big award and that I would win that," she said.
The shock of hearing her name announced left Sellers shaking.
"I didn't stop shaking until I got to church Sunday morning," she said.
Sellers is a Hernando High School secretary whose work station is at the front desk in the main office.
"She is the face of Hernando High School," said principal Leechele Booker. "She's like a ray of sunshine when you walk into the front office."
Sellers has held many jobs at the school during nearly 14 years as a Leopard. She started as an off-campus tennis coach.
"I worked in ISS (in-school suspension). I worked in athletics. I've worked in the ag (agriculture) department with Mr. (Rick) Ahrens. I worked with ESE (exceptional student education) students, and then two years ago I was moved up to this front office by (previous principal) Mr. (Ken) Pritz," she said. "I believe they found what I did best."
Each school day, Sellers works from between 6 and 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., sometimes staying until 4 or 5 p.m. And she volunteers after school at wrestling meets, her favorite school sport. A former cheerleader and cheerleading coach, she also mentors the current cheerleading coach.
Sellers has lived in Florida for 45 of her 48 years and is a product of the Hernando County school system. She graduated from Springstead High School in 1983. She attended Pasco-Hernando Community College for a while before moving to Clearwater to work. She returned to Brooksville for a wedding, where she met Harvey "Scooter" Sellers, the reason she returned to Brooksville, then settled, had three daughters and found her way to Hernando High.
Now she bleeds purple and gold. She sometimes wears a big, sparkling purple ring shaped like a leopard paw.
"I am very dedicated to this school," she said.
And Sellers is thrilled with her newly bestowed title.
"I was honored to be with a lot of those people," she said about the candidates from other schools and work sites. "I know how hard they work. I was honored and very happy."