Brooklet native and Southeast Bulloch High School graduate Judy Mincey has worked at her alma-mater for 21 years and counting. What started as a part-time position became a full-time media secretary slot and now she is the "Tech Liaison" at SEB.
Her first job, however, was at Brooks Instrument, where she met her husband-to-be, Kevin.
Leaving there, she worked at Sears in the Statesboro Mall for the next 11 years. And then Dr. Tom Bigwood, then principal at SEB, brought her back to Southeast Bulloch, where she soon became an invaluable part of the school's administration.
Her parents, D.L. and Madeline Denmark Hendley, raised Mincey and her three brothers and one sister in, not surprisingly, Denmark. Although grown-up, the entire family still lives in Bulloch County not far from where they were raised.
When she started working as Tech Liaison at SEB, there was one computer lab, a few computers in the library, and teachers had one desktop in their classrooms. Running at first on Windows 3.1, over the years the systems were upgraded to Windows 95 and then, Windows 98.
Currently, there are four computer labs at the school, and all of the teachers have networked laptops. Most systems are running on Windows XP, while some are running on the new Windows 7. Mincey said her greatest challenge is preventing computer viruses from infecting the school's computers.
Also, teachers now use "Smart Boards" instead of the old-fashioned chalkboards, and students are able to use "AirLiner Slates," that resemble the smaller slate tablets that children used to use in the old field schools.
These slates are connected wirelessly to the smart boards in the classroom. This allows students to ask questions about a particular problem from their seats while the lesson is being taught. It allows teachers to answer question on the smart board for everyone in the class.
There also are LCD projectors in each classroom that are wirelessly connected to the teachers' laptops. Computers in the media center, auditorium, and gym all have wireless connections, and can interact with other computers or the Internet seamlessly.
With so much technology, Mincey's days are filled with troubleshooting issues around the school. She also maintains a regular schedule for hardware and software upgrades on all of the equipment throughout the school.
"Miss Mincey is a model employee," said Dr. Trey Robertson, SEB principal. "She shows up on time, will go anywhere she is needed when equipment breaks down, and never complains if she is asked to stay late to fix equipment that is needed for an after school activity.
"She is definitely the hardest working person in this building, and is as conscientious a worker as I have ever been around. The title ‘unsung hero' fits Miss Mincey to a ‘T'."