CALUMET, Okla. (KFOR) – “Maple School, this is Jill” is what you will hear if you call Maple School in Calumet. On the other end of the line, receptionist Jill Hadin wears many hats – literally.

“Mrs. Jill,” as the students call her, puts smiles on hundreds of young faces, dressed as her own original characters.

Jill Hadin photoshopped herself standing next to her “Granny” character. Photo courtesy: Jill Hadin

“I think I have 15 wigs at home,” Jill said. “I’ve got Linda the Limbo Queen, Paula Bean the Jumping Jack Queen, Tammy the Tug of War Queen, Granny, Darrel the Dog Catcher – that’s a big favorite.”

Jill Hadin dressed as “Darrel the Dog Catcher.” Photo courtesy: Jill Hadin

Mrs. Jill also teaches Pre-K P.E. dressed as one of her characters. “Oh, I’m gonna get this one right here!” she said, while chasing laughing students around the gym, dressed as Tammy the Tug of War Queen.

“She has wigs that she can wear so we don’t know who she is,” Pre-K student Gatlin said of his teacher.

Jill Hadin dressed as “Paula Bean the Jumping Jack Queen.” Photo courtesy: Jill Hadin

Mrs. Jill also creates daily treasure hunts, coloring sheets, and crafts for the kids who stay after school. And she leaves encouraging notes inside students’ lockers.

“I kept all of them,” said seventh grader Everleigh Sears. “This one says, ‘Always be creative,’ and then, ‘Good things take time,’ and ‘Don’t worry, be happy,'” she said as she read the notes aloud.

Jill Hadin, creating crafts with students. Photo courtesy: Jill Hadin

Everleigh has known Mrs. Jill since Pre-K, when she accidentally left her favorite stuffed animal “Dog Dog” at school.

“Mrs. Jill took him home, crocheted a blanket to keep him warm and cozy, took pictures throughout the night. She had dinner with him, read books, and watched movies, and did silly things,” said Tamara Sears, Everleigh’s mom.

Everleigh Sears with “Dog Dog” in Pre-K. Photo courtesy: Tamara Sears
Everleigh Sears is now in 7th grade and still has “Dog Dog” and his sleeping bag, made by Jill Hadin. Photo courtesy: Tamara Sears

Tamara is a teacher’s aide at Maple School, where she says the staff has been blessed by Mrs. Jill’s generosity. “She’s bought a gift for every staff member for their birthday,” Tamara said.

Everleigh and Tamara nominated Mrs. Jill for a $400 Pay It 4Ward award from First Fidelity Bank.

“Are you kidding?!” Mrs. Jill said.

Tamara replied, “Because all of the joy and love that you spread every single day, on behalf of First Fidelity Bank and all of Maple School, here’s $400 to say ‘thank you.'”

“Oh, my goodness – thank you!” Mrs. Jill said, hugging Tamara and Everleigh.

“I wasn’t the best student at school, I was kind of class clown, you know, I guess that’s just carried through to my adulthood. If I can have fun, I’m gonna have fun,” Mrs. Jill said.

Even after all these years, Mrs. Jill remembers Everleigh’s “Dog Dog” well. “I made him a little sleeping bag,” she said.

Now, other kids send their favorite toys for sleepovers to keep Mrs. Jill company. “I don’t have any kids of my own, so they’ll give me their little babies to babysit.”

Jill Hadin “babysitting” a student’s toy and reading a book. Photo courtesy: Jill Hadin

“Everybody loves her so much,” Everleigh said. “Thank you so much,” Jill said as she gave Everleigh another hug.

If you know someone deserving of a Pay It 4ward award, you can nominate them here.

Pay It 4Ward is sponsored by First Fidelity Bank.