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'He’s always so positive.' Blue Lick Elementary staff member loves to make students smile

Mr. Mickey's big heart and positive attitude have impacted the lives of students and parents at Blue Lick Elementary school.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many schools have been empty and quiet, with students learning online from home. Mickey Bridwell, plant operator at Blue Lick Elementary, said he has missed the chaos in the hallways and being around everyone at the school.

Bridwell said he oversees safety of the building and making sure everything is ready for the teachers to teach. But some have noticed he goes above and beyond his job title.

“I want them to smile that’s my job. That what I want to do. Just put a little smile on their face, just anything to make them laugh,” Bridwell said.

Fifth Grader Grace McCawley met Mr. Mickey in kindergarten and he has been putting a smile on her face ever since. She said with Bridwell “you know that you got one person that you know that loves you and that knows that he’ll be there and make you happy every day.”

“It’s tough on kids and I want to be able to build them up. I want them to be able to learn easier. If you’re not happy, or don’t feel safe, you’re not going to learn very well,” Bridwell said.

His big heart and contagious energy rubbed off on Grace’s mom too. She said Grace can’t wait for lunchtime each day because she knows she will get to see Mr. Mickey.

“It makes you happy and who doesn’t want to be happy. He’s so happy that he’ll make you happy,” Emily McCawley said. “She talked about Mr. Mickey all the time. He’s always smiling. He’s always so positive. He just cares about the kids so much and you can tell that.”

“I do that with my grandkids at home. We grew up that you talked at the table and I know it’s different in schools,” Bridwell said. “I just want to treat them kids the way I want them to treat my kids or grandkids.”

Grace is missing Mr. Mickey and hoping to get back to Blue Lick soon because she said “he always makes me happy.

“You couldn’t put a price tag on that, she’ll remember Mr. Mickey for the rest of her life,” her mom said.

Bridwell said it warmed his heart to hear how he has impacted the McCawley family.

“I just hope I can keep doing it and maybe impact someone else’s life,” Bridwell said.

Thank you, Emily, for reaching reaching out on Nextdoor about this story.

►WHAS11 teamed up with Nextdoor to share positive stories from your community. If you have a story you would like to see on Stories from Nextdoor, reach out to Jessie Cohen on Nextdoor, e-mail jcohen@whas11.com or text 'Nextdoor' to 502-582-7290.