(Bradenton, FL. - April 12, 2012)
With more than 3,700 volunteers contributing over 154,000 hours during the 2011-2012 school year, the Manatee School District is extremely grateful to the dedicated citizens who generously give of their time to make a difference in the lives of our students.
To show the heart-felt appreciation for their service, the Manatee District invited more than 200 people to honor volunteers at a special celebration luncheon known as the "2012 Outstanding School Volunteer Awards - A Time of Celebration and Thanks!"
The celebration luncheon was held on Thursday, April Thursday, April 12, 2012, At Renaissance on 9th, in Bradenton.
More than 90 school volunteers from across Manatee County recommended for recognition by representatives of their individual schools were recognized at the awards ceremony. Thirteen volunteers received special recognition for their exceptional service, including one hairy, four-legged, extra-special volunteer.
The exceptional volunteers recognized for the 2011-2012 school year were:
Youth Female Volunteer of the Year: Sarah Huddleston
A Southeast High School student, Sarah was described by her former chemistry teacher and Key Club Advisor as, “truly amazing.” Through the Southeast High Key Club, she served her school and community over the past year by providing 250 hours of her time. One of her most notable contributions that raised $2,000 her freshmen and sophomore years was her role in organizing the Miss Ugly Contest.
Youth Male Volunteer of the Year: Janzen Fallgren
A Manatee High School student, Janzen gave over 50 hours of his time at Sea Breeze Elementary school this year. Teacher, Helen King stated, “Janzen is a true asset to my classroom. My students have gained so much because of his assistance.” Janzen gave an additional hour a week to another classroom when he learned of a student who was struggling academically.
Adult Female Volunteer of the Year: Tracey Hubert
A volunteer for Mills Elementary in only her second year, Tracey donated more than 1100 hours for 2011-2012. She can be found at the school almost daily initiating or improving programs or projects, organizing and promoting parent, student and staff involvement. She found such a connection working with the students, she decided to enroll at Hillsborough Community College to pursue a degree in Elementary Education.
Adult Male Volunteer of the Year: Brian Lake
A valuable asset to Blackburn Elementary, Brian assisted families in need through his abundant collection of clothes that would be the envy of any consignment shop. He has given over 100 hours of his time this year by spending every Tuesday afternoon organizing, sorting and displaying clothes that are provided to the school families at no cost. He is a mentor to a foster child, a Co-Coach for Odyssey of the Mind and photographer for the Father/Daughter Sweetheart dance.
Senior Female Volunteer of the Year: Irene Taylor
Over the past 18 years, Irene volunteered in the same first-grade class at Bashaw Elementary. She makes learning fun. She does Language Arts activities such as developing high frequency word vocabulary, phonemic activities and writing activities as well as a variety of math activities in a game form. Teacher, Cheryl Weiland stated, “The best writing I usually get out of my students is when they are writing thank you letters to Irene. Those letters validate the impact she has made on them.”
Senior Male Volunteer of the Year: Richard Theile
A volunteer at Sea Breeze Elementary, Richard Theile is better known as “Mr. T.” in Mrs. Amy Johnson´s Exceptional Student Education (ESE) Kindergarten through 3rd Grade Class. This class is filled with a plethora of ages, grades, academic ability and varied behaviors. Mr. T.´s familiarity with the students´ likes/dislikes and his knowledge of their diversity is apparent in the way he manages a small group of children. This school year he has dedicated over 200 hours of his time to Mrs. Johnson´s class.
Outstanding First Year Volunteers:
Kelsey Koleff, Southeast High Student, volunteers at Rowlett Elementary
Palmetto High Coach Dave Marino, volunteers at Blackburn Elementary
Carl Tropila, volunteers at Tillman Elementary
Overall Outstanding Elementary School Volunteer - Rebecca White, Myakka Elementary
Overall Outstanding Middle School Volunteer - Retired Teacher, Steve Graham, Lee Middle
Overall Outstanding High School Volunteer - Roger Proulx, Bayshore High
Special 2012 Spirit Award
Southeastern Guide Dogs´ Ambassador and Williams Elementary Reading Facilitator: Spirit Hysmith - (Owner, Kathy Hysmith))