While she really does not possess superhuman powers like the fictional characters of comic-book legend, Bloxom spreads her own kind of wonder to make life better for students and the community.
Once a week, this teacher blends in on the school bus to provide healthy snacks to students who otherwise might not have anything to eat after school. That tale is one of several reasons second-grade teacher Glenda Bloxom was nominated as one of our “superheroes.”
“Easily the most caring person that I have ever met,” one of her nominations says. “She’s given me quite a bit of parenting advice and sets an awesome example of serving others.”
Bloxom, who teaches at Bryant’s Hill Farm Elementary School, also helped establish the Alexander Community Center, which provides complimentary meals five nights a week to people in Shannon Hills.
Another nomination says, “I have never met anyone quite like her. She has an amazing heart for people and our students. She provides whatever they need to thrive at school. Her classroom is warm and inviting for every student.”
Bloxom, wife to Andy Bloxom and mother of three daughters – Ashely Thomas, Bridget Bloxom and Candee Jo Bloxom – has been teaching in the Bryant School District for 25 years. She began her career in kindergarten, then onto first grade and now second grade.
“I enjoy second grade a lot because they are learning to write, and I love teaching them to write down their thoughts,” she says. “My very favorite thing to teach is reading – I love to read books out loud to my kids. One of our favorites to read out loud each year is Because of Winn Dixie.”
Her love of reading spills over into one of her favorite joys of teaching. “I love watching the joy in kids’ faces as they become better readers and learn to love books,” she says. “Books take you to places you may never get to go.”
When Hill Farm Elementary opened six years ago, Bloxom says she noticed a group of students from Alexander who needed “extra love and support.” The children who live in this area attend Hill Farm. She first asked a women’s Sunday School class at her church, First Baptist in Benton, to pray for these students and their bus driver.
“I started riding the bus at least once a week to see where they lived, just to get to know the kids and their needs. I also loved getting to know Miss Diane, the bus driver. She loves and cares for the kids on her bus.”
Another teacher from Bryant High School also noticed the many needs of students in this area, Bloxom notes. “His name is Terri Harper. We got together with other individuals that were concerned, prayed together and took action,” she says.
“Terri found a place (the Alexander Community Center) where we could feed the kids each night. Now the children from this area get a hot meal four nights a week, thanks to so many in Saline County helping monthly to feed, love and provide joy for these children from my school.”
The Alexander Community Center is a nonprofit organization, Bloxom explains. “I personally want to say thanks to so many volunteers who are keeping these kids safe, fed, loved and encouraged.”
On Wednesdays, no hot meals are served, and that is why Bloxom tries to ride the bus on those afternoons. “These snacks are donated from the Sunday School classes. I am so thankful for the village of people who have helped make the Alexander Community Center a safe, warm place for Hill Farm Elementary students.”
Outside of her school and volunteer work, Bloxom can be found worshipping with her family and friends at church, where she also sings in the worship choir. Vacations typically take her to the beach or to Branson with her family.
She also relishes in going on vacations with a group of teachers about three times a year. “I love to go on vacations with family and friends. My favorite place, though, is the beach. There’s not a better place on earth to sit than by the ocean by yourself listening, reading and praying.”
Bloxom has called Saline County home since 1985. “The Alexander area is a place where my heart loves to be.”