Daniels, a Special Education teacher for Conway Schools for 22 years, was presented with the award at the Chamber's Annual Meeting last night.
In 2005, Daniels established the "Caring Cats" club at Conway High School. The club started off with about a dozen members, and a desire to serve those less fortunate in their community.
Today, the "Caring Cats" boasts almost 300 student members. Each year they take on projects like "Angel Paws," where they ensure that no student in the Conway School District goes without presents at Christmas, and volunteer with Special Olympics. They frequently hold food and clothing drives to help the needy and perform other acts of kindness that bless the Conway community.
"The Chamber’s recognition of Cheryl’s work with Caring Cats and her special needs kids is a wonderful tribute to her and to all of our employees who work so very hard to make a difference in the life of a child," says Dr. Greg Murry, Superintendent of Conway Schools.
Daniels says she is humbled by the honor, and so thankful she has had the opportunity to work with so many amazing students over the years.
"Our Caring Cats club has bridged the gap between special needs and general education students in a way that has been a great experience for everyone," says Daniels. "To watch these young people put their servants' hearts into action is something very special."
Daniels has recently been asked to serve on the board of directors for "Deliver Hope," and also volunteers for the Conway Human Development Center and the Special Olympics.
"Seeing our special needs students bond with the general education students and form lifelong friendships is just phenomenal," Daniels says. "I'm thankful every single day that I get to be part of something like this."
Established in 1973, the Good Neighbor Award is presented annually to an individual who has given of his or her time and talents and is known for going beyond the call of duty to help others.