EAST MONTGOMERY COUNTY — Pct. 4 Justice of the Peace James Metts and his staff joined forces with Pct. 4 Constable Kenneth “Rowdy” Hayden and members of his staff on Tuesday to deliver the proceeds from the Judge’s annual School Supply Drive to six elementary schools in Precinct 4, which includes Splendora and New Caney Independent School Districts, along with a portion of Conroe I.S.D.
When the school supply drive began in midsummer, word spread quickly and donations of all sizes began to arrive at the judge’s office, brought by everyone from business owners to retirees and including items from backpacks and binders to pencils and rulers.
“It was heartwarming to see how many people made the effort to stop by and contribute whatever they were able,” Judge Metts said. “There were quite a few older folks on fixed incomes who took what they could spare and brought a few things in, and it added up too.”
One of the larger contributions was made by Constable Hayden who personally braved back-to-school shopping crowds at a local department store to purchase needed items. The outpouring of support for this year’s project was so great that the supplies had to be delivered using Constable Hayden’s Tactical Van, which is normally used for major drug raids and other maneuvers.
Constable Hayden said he was glad to be a part of a project that is helping so many families, but also sees the assistance as part of a long-term goal.
“Judge Metts and I have taken a hard stance on truancy and this is something proactive we can do to help make sure kids have what they need to get a good head start in school and, hopefully, to stay on the right path,” Constable Hayden said.
The drive was headed up by Pct. 4 Court Clerk Cathy Cain, a single mother who understands the financial hardships placed on families. Judge Metts said he was thrilled when Miss Cain approached him with the idea.
“I’m always proud to see my staff take the initiative to improve our community,” Judge Metts said. “In this case, that involved a lot of extra effort that went well beyond Miss Cain’s job description.”
“With the current economy, there are a lot of families who’ve never needed help before who are finding themselves in that situation – it can happen to anybody,” Judge Metts said. “This is what community’s all about – everybody doing whatever they can to help those who need it,” Judge Metts said.
Among the largest donors were, Porter Animal Hospital; Ott’s Fabrication: Ellen McGuire; Therlyn Cook; Woodmen of the World; Jeff Lochore; Clark’s Chiropractic; Earl and Mary Kitchen, and Northland Communications.
Left to right (rear) Kevin Weldon, Assistant Superintendent of Splendora ISD; Pct. 4 Justice of the Peace James Metts; Jane Landers, Cathy Cain, and Tonia Theriot, Pct. 4 staff; Pct. 4 Constable Kenneth “Rowdy” Hayden; Pct. 4 Deputy A. Boudreaux; and Kent Broussard, Principal of Piney Woods Elementary. (front) Piney Woods Elementary kindergarten student Cali Coats and her brother, Cason Coats who is in third-grade.
Left to right (rear) Troy Reynolds, Principal of Peach Creek Elementary; Judy Jones, Principal of Greenleaf Elementary; Cathy Cain and Tonia Theriot Pct. 4 staff; Pct. 4 Constable Kenneth “Rowdy” Hayden; Pct. 4 Justice of the Peace James Metts; Pct. 4 Deputy A. Boudreaux. (front) Joshua Hayden, a sixth-grader at Greenleaf Elementary; Braden Poulter, a first-grader at Peach Creek Elementary and Matthew Theriot, who is in kindergarten at Peach Creek Elementary.