Arthur Elementary - Jane Nicholas
Jane Nicholas is a new parent in the Arthur (Knights) Elementary community and has jumped in like a seasoned pro. She spends a couple of days each week volunteering in Arthur classrooms assisting students and teachers. Jane supports students one-on-one and in small groups by assisting them in reading and math to improve skills, supporting growth in self-confidence, and by motivating them to reach their goals. She also assists in building and developing foundational skills for future reading success with our younger Knights. Jane is always enthusiastic, positive and willing to assist in any way she can and takes on any task that is needed. Jane is deeply committed to the students and staff and her dedication is immeasurable and has truly made a difference at Arthur. We’d like to honor her commitment and dedication to outstanding volunteerism and making a difference for the students and staff of Arthur Elementary.
Cleveland Elementary - Nova Seeman
Nova Seeman has been so supportive of our Cleveland staff and students for many years now! She started the 5th grade concessions and pop can and bottle recycling for the 5th graders, has been homeroom parent numerous times as her kids have been students at Cleveland, and she’s always busy thinking of ways to honor and show appreciation for our Cleveland staff during staff appreciation week. This year she has helped Mrs. Pape with DOT DAY and helps count Hy-Vee receipts as well. She shared her butterflies with the classrooms and at the beginning of the school year she ran a school supply drop off and clothing closet that still gets a lot of use. She is an active member of the PTA and annually helps organize the year-end event at Cleveland. Nova also helps with the school store and is always willing to help out when asked. She is making a huge difference here at Cleveland and Cleveland is a much better place because of her. Her willingness to think outside of the box has been very helpful with new fundraising ideas and activities that the students and staff can enjoy.
Coolidge Elementary - Regina Christodoulou
Regina has been a parent volunteer for six years at Coolidge, where she has been a great asset to teachers, staff, parents, and PTA. She has volunteered as a hospitality coordinator who organizes meals for teachers at conferences, retirement parties, teacher appreciation week and much more. She leads Speak Up (a speech program for our 5th graders so they can learn the correct way to deliver speeches), and is also in charge of our monthly family fun events! She helps any teacher with clerical work whenever needed. She has also been a dependable homeroom mom, helps organize parties, fieldtrips, and so much more! The list could go on and on! Regina is the most reliable volunteer I know who works above and beyond everyday while at Coolidge. All the staff and students recognize Regina and love having her as a part of their education. Coolidge staff, kids, parents and PTA are very lucky to have Regina at Coolidge as a volunteer, she is leaving some big shoes to fill when her son moves on to Taft! She deserves the recognition of “Outstanding Building Volunteer” for her selfless devotion to Coolidge.
Erskine Elementary - Steve Dunlap
Some Erskine students know him as “Bennie’s Dad,” others know him as the Australian guy… but most of us just call him Mr. Dunlap. Mr. Dunlap can be seen every week practicing reading fluency with the 4th graders. He’s also a familiar face to many kids who enjoyed working with him in our Extended Learning Program over the years. While substitute teaching in our classrooms, he loves sharing stories about his basset hound, Bennie, or stories and photos from his many years teaching in Australia! (Not many teachers have kangaroo stories like he does!) He’s patient, he’s generous and he loves working with kids. Mr. Dunlap is quick to recognize the teachers and students of Erskine Elementary as his “extended family.” He’s a very special member of our school!
Garfield Elementary - Brandi Sawyer
Brandi is currently serving as our PTA President, as well as our “Events Coordinator.” Brandi has been instrumental in planning amazing events for the families of our school. Each month Brandi has multiple events planned for students, their families and the staff to interact and have fun together. Brandi organized the first annual “Vendor Fair” which was a huge success, as well as a Santa’s Secret Shop, and a family movie night all at the same time. She is always looking ahead to see what events she can put her magic touch on to make it extra special and fun for the students at Garfield! Brandi was a wonderful team member on Garfield’s 100th anniversary celebration committee, as well securing many donations. If we were to describe Brandi in one word, it would be “AMAZING.” What she touches turns to “fun”! This is just a small mention of the numerous and awesome events that Brandi has planned and carried out for our school family!
Grant Elementary - Abbie DeWitt
Abbie is a great asset to Grant Elementary School. She is the first person we call when a volunteer opportunity arises. From chaperoning field trips, assisting in the classroom, weekly shelving of over 600 books in the library, and escorting students for picture day and hearing tests, Abbie is an integral part of our school’s success. Abbie is also in charge of our kindergarten through 2nd grade Baggie Book take home reading program. She selects books at a student’s current reading level and sends them home to give the student extra reading practice. Abbie is passionate about reading so the library and the baggie book program are a perfect fit. PTA is another place where Abbie shines! Her help with coordinating PTA fundraisers and the Spring Fling are crucial to their success. Her dedication to Grant is obvious and greatly appreciated by staff and students. Thank you, Abbie.
Grant Wood Elementary - Kelly Bult
Rarely do you find a volunteer that not only gives their time but also strives to make our school community stronger. Kelly Bult, over the last six years, has made it her mission to build a strong community of parents by reaching out to ALL parents while serving in different roles on the PTA and as a classroom volunteer. Being inclusive is very important to Kelly as she looks for all different ways to communicate with parents and to connect parents to each other. The impact Kelly has had on our school will have a lasting effect. She has built a strong culture of care and inclusiveness amongst parents and staff. She has empowered so many others to lead so that when she departs, others will be able to carry on the rich traditions at Grant Wood. She says, “Being a school volunteer gives you an opportunity to positively impact children who will soon be a next generation of adults. In a healthy society it is the right thing to do - help each other, and for me this also means helping each other’s children.”
Harrison Elementary - Gary Strandberg
Mr. Gary volunteers on a regular basis in Mrs. Hunt’s kindergarten classroom. He meets with students to read aloud, work on early language skills and most importantly provides a positive interaction with a community adult. When he enters our classroom all students greet him with a “Hi Gary!” Even though he does not work with all students, he always recognizes the class with a smile and a wave. His calm, kind manner puts students at ease and they always go with him eagerly, ready to work on their language skills with him. On their return he usually gives the whole class a verbal compliment which means a great deal! This interaction with an adult from the community has a powerful effect. For students, it gives them one more opportunity for special one-on-one time, extra practice with building a trusted relationship, and extra practice with reading skills. For Mr. Gary, we hope he has gained an insight into Harrison school, young readers, and mostly how important he is to us here at Harrison!
Hiawatha Elementary - Jennifer Olson
Jennifer Olson jumps right in and instinctively knows how to help some of our most struggling learners. She has a strong math background and we knew we could put her talents to work. She guides and supports her assigned group of students, and she recognizes where they continue to struggle, works with the teacher in making needed adjustments, and works creatively to supplement their learning by creating math activities. Jennifer works in a small group setting during math rotations, and also supports students in the classroom during whole group instruction. She identifies students who need a little more one-on-one support and works with them until they are able to complete their work independently. When the students were asked how they felt about Mrs. Olson they used words like “funny,” “nice,” “smart,” and “helpful.” They say, “Mrs. Olson explains things so we understand how to do math.” Another student said, “She is kind even when we get a little out of hand.” Jennifer pushes our students to develop stronger math skills while modeling caring and kindness.
Hoover Elementary - Wayne Jositek
Wayne has been coming to Hoover once a week for several years now. He has worked with students from Kindergarten-3rd grade on many different skills such as alphabet recognition and reading. We have many newcomers to our building that he helps and they love to listen to him read aloud to them. Every day he is here the students beg to work with him!! If a student seems to be struggling or having a rough day, Wayne will simply have a nice conversation with them and always tries to make a student smile or laugh! Students from previous years recognize Wayne and always wave to him. He has been a wonderful male/grandpa figure to so many of our students and has made a great positive impact in their lives!! We enjoy having Wayne come to Hoover and appreciate everything he does for the students.
Jackson Elementary - Amy Blomquist
Amy is a wonderful addition to Jackson Elementary as a parent and as a volunteer. Amy gives many hours to the Jackson community and is ready and willing to solve problems should they arise. Her thoughtfulness, attention to detail, and willingness to jump in to action make her a valued member of our school community. Amy is a reserve officer with the Cedar Rapids Police Department and when extra patrol support was needed during morning drop, Amy kindly helped parents adjust to our drop off procedures and the presence of a police car was a nice extra touch. Amy’s deep care for the Jackson learning community is evident by the time spent recruiting and filling volunteer needs. Amy can always be trusted to give an honest and optimistic perspective in the planning process for events. She is a warm and welcome presence in our school and enriches the Jackson environment with her contributions.
Johnson STEAM Academy - Katie Buresh
Katie has been a wonderful volunteer! She has been very involved with PTA, as a treasurer for three years and president for one, has served on the fundraising committee, helps at most of the PTA events (especially Blues & BBQ), volunteers at the scholastic book fair, volunteers in the classrooms, and has chaperoned a lot of field trips! Katie also manages to find time to be the lead instructor for the School Store enrichment on Friday mornings and to coach Girls on the Run twice a week during the fall. We really appreciate all she does for our staff and she is an amazing role model for our students! Katie says about wanting to become a volunteer at Johnson, “I was so impressed with all the good the PTA was doing in the school and neighborhood and I wanted to be involved in that. I fell in love with the kids right away and I'm so impressed with the teachers and staff. It's also just a fun place for me to volunteer.”
Kenwood Leadership Academy - Aaron Zieser
There is so much to say about Aaron! He faithfully comes in each week to assist students with fluency and comprehension activities in reading. With his constant friendly attitude, his mission in school is to help students become the best they can be. He is always ready to attend and help supervise a class trip or tour and also helps with all the details that support our classroom for the week. He greets every student as they arrive on Monday, works with students on an individual basis to tie up loose ends with them (like past assessments, worksheets, activities), and he participates in Lead Time. His perspective as a parent is so valuable and he is just an overall positive male role model. His small acts of volunteerism over the past six years have allowed teachers to focus on instruction. He spots the things our classroom needs like air fresheners during our crayfish stint, highlighters, carpets for student workspaces—and supplies our classrooms with these items. He’s even taken home classroom furniture to repair. Thanks, Aaron, for all you do for our school!
Madison Elementary - Kathy Kilbourn & Navi
Kathy Kilbourn and her therapy dog, Navi, have made a dynamic pair volunteering for the last few years with Madison’s first grade students. During their time at Madison, students practice their reading skills with Navi and Kathy. Navi is an excellent listener and reading companion who works with the students to build confidence and reinforce learning. Kathy is a retired teacher who taught in the district for 26 years; the last 20 were at Washington High School. She finds volunteering very rewarding. Kathy enjoys seeing the excited faces of the students that read to Navi. Navi is an eight-year-old Siberian Husky—she’s a big dog with an even bigger heart! She is well trained and very calm with the students. Navi has worked in many schools during the last six years, and during summer sessions for Kids on Course. You will see Navi being read to and petted by several students in the Madison library Wednesday afternoons. The students are always happy to see Kathy and Navi!
Nixon Elementary - Erica Wolterman
Erica Wolterman has been chosen as Nixon’s Outstanding Building Volunteer for many reasons this year. We can count on Erica to help with almost anything and everything in our school. If she takes on a project, she runs with it and is very energetic. She is the first to volunteer. She helps in the classroom working with students, has helped as a runner for the hearing tests, pops popcorn for special days, and plans and organizes many classroom and building celebrations. She has been on the PTA Board in many leadership role positions, is a great contact person between parents and the PTA, and is always working to recruit more PTA members. She has organized Nixon’s carnival for quite a few years and has been the point person in securing donations and volunteers for the carnival. Erica works to make sure that teachers feel supported in all that they need. She organizes and counts box tops and the Hy-Vee receipts, has been a great help to the preschool classes, and can adapt to any situation. Her face is very well familiar in the hallways at Nixon. Erica is a Rockstar at Nixon and we would be lost without her.
Pierce Elementary - Todd Kunstorf
Through his many years volunteering at Pierce Elementary, Todd Kunstorf has contributed to Pierce in a myriad of ways. He assists with classroom parties, presents at career day, organizes spirit day, adopts families at holidays, and helps to run many activities such as our annual walkathon. He greets staff and students, is kind, friendly, and helpful, and has even been known to bring our school secretary coffee. He has also served on the PTA board and has even donned the school mascot outfit! Todd’s contributions are appreciated by the staff members at Pierce who say that, whether he’s asked to help with small or big projects, he is always willing to lend a hand. They say Todd also “spreads smiles.” He is always smiling and makes the entire staff feel good. He makes all of our staff and students feel special by calling them by name, talking with them, and remembering things about them. Todd has an incredible spirit and we are honored to celebrate and honor him!
Taylor Elementary - Jerry Elsea
Jerry has been volunteering at Taylor Elementary with our Book Buddies program two times a week since the program started in 2007. Book Buddies is a one-on-one reading program and community partnership with Matthew 25 that pairs students with a volunteer for twice weekly tutoring sessions. Jerry has played an integral role each year in helping his book buddies become more confident readers and to help them reach their end of the year reading goals. Jerry has rarely missed a session with his buddies and has been a very caring and supportive mentor who has made a lasting impact on many students at Taylor Elementary. The time he spends working with the students is very rewarding for him. He enjoys seeing the students’ eagerness to learn and the excitement they have when they reach their goal. Jerry’s reading buddy this year is making great advances in his reading skills. Taylor is truly grateful to have a wonderful volunteer like Jerry.
Truman Elementary - Larry & Sue Kroemer
We are so excited to honor Larry and Sue who have volunteered at Truman for the past six years. They volunteer weekly in classrooms to support our literacy and math centers, computer lab, and reading practice. Their weekly support has made a difference for so many of our students. The additional weekly practice is not something the teachers can always provide students in the classroom and it is valuable additional learning that many students benefit from. In addition, Larry and Sue support our specials teachers by providing extra supervision and support for activities like gymnastics, field day, and other school wide activities. If there is a schoolwide need for support and supervision, Larry and Sue are always willing to help. Our entire Truman staff appreciates their welcoming smiles and willingness to volunteer and support our staff and students. Larry and Sue embody going the extra mile to support all kids within our Truman community.
Van Buren Elementary - Barb Reuter
Grandma Barb, as the students affectionately call her, has been providing many of our 1st graders with loads of extra structure, guidance and love for the past four years. She comes to Van Buren three days each week and helps the students get their day off to a positive start by helping them get out all the tools they need to be successful. She then digs right in working with students individually to practice spelling words, reads with small groups or individuals, and really comes to the rescue for any other need that pops up! She often takes on other responsibilities outside the classroom such as helping with hearing and vision screening and student picture days. Barb says her favorite moments are ones in which students in the upper grades see her in the hallways and say, “Hey! It’s Grandma Barb!” Thank you, Grandma Barb, for creating such fond memories for our kids to take with them on their journey. We know there will be a plethora of potential volunteers out there in the future due to your lasting impressions.
Viola Gibson Elementary - Beth Paynter
Beth Paynter currently has two children at Viola Gibson and she loves helping the school out as a volunteer. She says by volunteering you learn so much about how the school operates and how much schools need volunteers to keep them running at their current high standards. Beth volunteers frequently in with 3rd grade, is an avid member of the PTA, and she consistently volunteers for a variety of Viola Gibson committees or events, including serving as a committee member for our school carnival which involves a great deal of time and effort. Beth has helped with the Roller Skating unit in gym class, Jump Rope for Heart, Gator Gallop, Hula Hooping for Houston, class parties, food for teachers—you name it, Beth is there to help! She is a very big part of our Gibson community, and we appreciate the time and effort she gives in and out of our school. She is a role model to all and we appreciate her support of the students, families, and staff at Viola Gibson.
Wright Elementary - Destiny Hastings
Destiny has spent many hours reading one-on-one with students and building loving relationships with them. This year she joined our ELL program and helps the students with both reading and writing. She has also spent many hours painting the cute faces of our students at our Spring Carnivals. We cannot thank her enough for the support and love that she brings to Wright. She truly is our shining star. Destiny has a special connection to Wright and our staff and students adore her.
Franklin Middle School - Dorea Burkamper
Dorea is an active member of our PTA. Currently, Dorea serves as Vice President and is always willing to step up where needed. The past two years our Franklin PTA has awarded nearly $2,000 in teacher grants to help with the instruction of students in their classroom. If you come to an after school event, you’ll notice Dorea in the concession stand. This year she has re-vamped, deep cleaned, and supplied our concession to make it new and improved for all Franklin and visiting families. Dorea has also taken several steps to increase the awareness and enrollment of our PTA by attending evening events to recruit families. Thank you for all you do, Dorea!
Harding Middle School - Jean epping
Jean Epping is the kind of volunteer every teacher hopes for—she is reliable, knowledgeable, and she has made herself indispensable to the Harding library! Jean is a retired CRCSD staff member who volunteers faithfully every Tuesday and Thursday. She assists with library tasks such as laminating materials for staff members, shelving books, and processing new books. Thanks to Jean’s help, our media specialist has more time to collaborate with teachers, more time to devote to digital/information literacy assistance, and more time for readers advisory. Jean’s help shelving books also ensures that students can find the books they need and want to read. Jean’s experience and attention to detail are such an asset to the library. We are so grateful for her help, she truly is an outstanding volunteer!
McKinley Middle School - Beth Papendick
As a parent greeter, Beth welcomes students and staff to McKinley creating a positive environment for everyone at McKinley. She helps chaperone class field trips and is a PTA member. Beth also serves as a member of the McKinley Community Advisory Team which assists the principal and administrative team in making decisions that reflect the interests of parents, faculty, and students. In connection with a 6th grade class unit on StoryCorps in which students focused on the value of storytelling, interviewing skills, and the importance of active listening, Beth gave students a behind-the-scenes tour of a news station. She then presented in classrooms to share her own story, including personal successes and struggles she has had throughout her own life. As a result of Beth’s time spent in our classrooms, 6th grade students have a greater respect for Beth and the growth mindset and determination she illustrated throughout her presentations. Beth’s positive attitude and dedication to McKinley is an inspiration to all volunteers and we salute her efforts!
Roosevelt Creative Corridor Business Academy -
OUTSTANDING DISTRICT VOLUNTEER/GOVERNOR'S VOLUNTEER AWARD HONOREE
Roosevelt is proud to honor Dan Koch as this year’s Outstanding Building Volunteer. Dan currently serves as the PTA President of RCCBA and is an active parent volunteer. He is well-respected by the students, staff, and parents for his passion for school improvement and for his ongoing support.
As a proud RCCBA parent, Dan is constantly searching for ways to provide innovative programming and critical resources to our building. Dan leads PTA with dedication and passion, and his enthusiasm is contagious. It is not uncommon for Dan to be seen going above and beyond in a variety of ways, whether it is by leading a school fundraiser, creating a new educational programming opportunity for students and parents, or organizing an entire week of teacher appreciation events. His commitment and involvement doesn’t stop there—Dan was even crazy enough to travel with Roosevelt staff all the way to Chicago last year in preparation for their Magnet work!
Dan is an amazing volunteer who brings out the best in others and inspires everyone around him to promote school spirit and to shed a positive light on our school. RCCBA is thankful for Dan’s many contributions and we are pleased to announce him as this year’s recipient!
Congratulations to Dan for being honored as RCCBA’s Outstanding Building Volunteer as well as the Outstanding District Volunteer. As the Outstanding District Volunteer, Dan is also the Governor’s Volunteer Award Honoree. Congratulations, Dan!
Taft Middle School - Jan Rosauer
Jan Rosauer has been a tremendous asset to the Taft community. She has spent countless hours helping the performing arts department in a variety of ways. For instance, Jan has served as the parent coordinator for the 6th grade band during the past school year and is currently serving as the coordinator for the 7th grade band. In this role, Jan has the responsibility of organizing the reception that follows the band concerts and also arrives prior to the reception to set the tables so everything looks nice for the families and guests and has guided the new 6th grade band coordinator through this process. On Tuesdays and Thursdays after school, as well as Saturday rehearsals, Jan can be found helping the Taft show choir, Adrenaline, look their very best. She works tirelessly to make sure costumes fit students appropriately and puts her alterations talents to work. Jan organizes parent volunteers to make sure all the needs of the group and director are met. She is a fixture at all competitions—often times with needle in hand to handle any last-minute costume challenges—and helps ensure the students are where they need to be, and ready to shine on stage. Thank you, Jan.
Wilson Middle School - Ronn Munsterman
Ronn Munsterman has volunteered as the Chess Club Coach for the Home School Assistance Program for nine years, putting his certification as Chess Coach with the United States Chess Federation to great use with our students. He meets weekly with students in grades 3-12 throughout the school year who are interested in advancing their knowledge and skill in the game of chess. The number of students in the chess club varies each year but generally, he coaches anywhere from 10-20 students. At each meeting, Ronn comes prepared to introduce chess vocabulary; names of famous players; strategies for opening, middle, and end games; and often models important portions of games played by masters and grandmasters on a special presentation chessboard. Through his gentle and sincere demeanor, Ronn maintains a quiet, yet competitive playing environment with students. This is part of teaching the students the etiquette of chess in preparation for tournament play and are skills they can easily translate to the classroom and to life. Thank you, Ronn!
Jefferson High School - Jim Miller
Typically, when you see Mr. Jim Miller at a school event, which is constantly, it is with a big smile on his face and quite possibly a glisten of sweat running down his brow. Jim has been the president of the Jefferson Booster Club for the past three years and he has simply worked hard!! There truly is not enough thanks and gratitude that can be expressed for Jim’s efforts to a Booster Club that lives and breathes and is founded on hard work and commitment. The Jefferson Booster Club has given over $300,000 to the Jefferson activities department during those three years with Jim’s leadership. Those are critical funds that go to providing each and every student-athlete with safe and high quality equipment and facilities. Jim has been a wonderful leader by providing a humble, hard-working example as well as sharing his ability to grow the amount of folks volunteering alongside him every year. Jim’s wife, Jennifer, should be recognized as well, for the identical hard-working and giving spirit she demonstrates with Jim. We could not ask for anything more from this J-Hawk family of volunteers!
Kennedy High School - Nia Schulte
Nia Schulte has been a hard working volunteer for the music and drama departments at Kennedy for the past six years. Nia has served in a variety of roles, taking particular leadership in the area of costuming. Between theater productions and our large choirs, Nia has helped costume and dress over a thousand Kennedy students. Each year she fits nearly 250 vocal music students in tuxedos and dresses, and handles preparing the large order of new items. Nia handles food preparations for student performances and practices. Along with her husband, Jeff, she handles the daunting task ticketing for our theater productions. Nia is an excellent communicator, keeping directors well informed of her progress. Nia never misses a deadline and always has a smile to share with students, parents, and staff. She is a kind and generous worker for students who works with the heart of a teacher.
Metro High School - Leesa Jaeger
Leesa has actively volunteered in the building this school year. She has been at and volunteered for all of our after school functions including open house, Barns & Noble Book Fair, and Market on the Mount at Mount Mercy College. She has been an active volunteer with the robotics program. This has included her attendance at all team events and functions, volunteering during the school day, and providing food and snacks for team competitions. She has represented Metro High School while volunteering with the FIRST Robotics organization in several capacities during league meets. Leesa has also participated in several fundraising efforts and organized a fundraising campaign for the robotics program. Leesa is passionate for our work at Metro and has given of herself this year to support our building and its students. She is always willing to help when needed and strives to find new ways to benefit our students at Metro.
Washington High School - Ruth White
Dr. Ruth White has a lengthy history of outstanding service to Washington High School and CRCSD. Recently adding the role of performing arts volunteer, Ruth is a teacher, advisor, mentor and leader. In other words, Ruth is an educator. Through The Academy for Scholastic and Personal Success, which she founded 29 years ago, Ruth has crafted, in her words, “a culturally specific road to self-respect, independence, and academic progress.” The Academy serves youth throughout the CRCSD elementary, middle and high schools, currently through a 6-week summer program at Mt. Mercy University and through a cultural awareness program based at Johnson STEAM academy during the academic year. Whether as Director of the Iowa Department of Human Rights, Humanities teacher at Washington, or show choir volunteer, Ruth is engaging all of us in the success of our youth.
Use this link for a printable copy of the honorees