Kaye Cheatham, administrative secretary at the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope, has been on the job for 10 years and was recently awarded the “Spirit of Excellence Award,” as the top employee at UACCH.
Cheatham, who says she enjoys helping people, was picked by her peers in all departments of the college. The votes were then sent to a committee, which selected Cheatham. The criteria for the award included how involved on campus she is, and helping students as much as she can.
“I was just so surprised when I received that award at the graduation ceremony,” Cheatham said. “No one is told that they have won anything until they are presented the plaque.”
Cheatham grew up in Stephens, with an older sibling, a twin sister, and a younger sibling.
“We grew up working hard,” she said. “All of us kids helped my mom and dad at their service station. We always interacted with the public there and that's where I grew to enjoy working with people. We are a close-knit family even now.”
After graduation from Stephens High School in 1966, Cheatham attended Ayers Business College in Shreveport, La.
“After I got through with business college, I went to work at Bossier Bank and Trust, in Bossier City. I worked there until I moved back to Arkansas,” she said.
Cheatham went to work at the Lafayette County Memorial Hospital and stayed for 22 years.
“I started out as an insurance clerk, worked my way up to bookkeeper, and served as interim administrator before they closed in 1987,” she said. “After the hospital shut down, I went to work at the Lafayette County Health Unit for 10 years.
“After I had worked at the health unit, I began working at UACCH,” Cheatham said. “When I got the award, I wasn't expecting it. I don't think about it when I help people and I certainly don't expect to get anything out of it; just the satisfaction of knowing that I could help.”
Cheatham was married for 37 years, when her husband, Larry passed away in 2005. The couple had one son, and three grandchildren.
“I appreciate this award because like I said, I enjoy helping people and I never expected anything but the satisfaction of knowing I could help when I was needed,” she said.