Volunteer Recognition 2018-19

Arthur Camille Franklin

Arthur Elementary - Camille Franklin

Cammy has been a devoted Arthur classroom volunteer since her kids started kindergarten. Cammy has fourth grade twins and she volunteers weekly in both of their classrooms.  She helps with classroom parties and attends field trips! Cammy is a delight to have in the classroom and the kids really enjoy it when she comes to help out! When she is at Arthur, she makes time for each student individually and treats them according to their personality! Cammy is also a Girl Scout Troop leader for some of our Arthur students. She looks for several opportunities to be able to come in the classroom to teach students about animals. Cammy is very reliable, and she is always willing to help out at the last minute. Arthur Elementary is a much better school with Cammy Franklin being part of our team!


Cleveland Elementary - Ken & Lois Robison

Lois and Ken are retired school teachers who have been volunteering for Cleveland for a couple of years now. They prefer volunteering on the main floor of our building, so they work with our younger students. They both are very reliable and currently help out with the math centers in the kindergarten classrooms. They also help them out with centers in the morning. The kindergarten teachers appreciate their time and the students enjoy having them around as well. Ken also helps out with reading in a first-grade classroom.  It is very nice to have them in our building and know that they will be here and offer the consistency students need. We really are blessed to have both Ken and Lois at Cleveland.  

Coolidge Heather Kasak

Coolidge Elementary - Heather Kasak

Heather is the type of volunteer every school wishes they had! She will help with anything needed, whether it’s for the teachers, students, or PTA! She has helped weekly in both of her sons' classrooms since they started at Coolidge. She also volunteers in other classrooms that need a volunteer for small group or individual work! She runs our Jump Rope for Heart event which has been a huge success over the years! She helps with classroom parties, walk-a-thon, and truly anything she has been asked to do! Heather has made a huge impact at Coolidge over the years by reading with kids, helping with math facts or filling in where needed to make the day or event go smoothly! She has given so much to Coolidge and will be greatly missed! Truly one of the kindest and giving volunteers we have! Thanks for all you do and have done! 

Erskine Susan Gonzalez

Erskine Elementary - Susan Gonzalez

If you take a tour of Erskine, there is a good chance you will find Susan at a table in the hall surrounded by students working on a variety of projects. She has been a frequent volunteer in all grades over the years at Erskine, spending her time reading with students or playing math games, among other tasks the teachers may give her. From donating her time, talents or resources, Susan is also an active member of the Erskine PTA helping with the many activities that they plan, and leads Erskine’s participation in the Washington Homecoming parade. All of our Eagles are invited to gather for face painting, sign making, and fun before they march together in the parade. Susan's quiet, smiling, positive presence is a wonderful support to our school community. We really appreciate everything that Susan does at Erskine!

Garfield Jacque Collett

Garfield Elementary - Jacque Collett

Jacque has put in many hours helping our students, staff, and PTA. She has tutored students, counted flyers, designed & decorated classroom doors, counted Box Tops and sorted Hy-Vee receipts!  Jacque has been willing to help in every way she can at our school. She bakes special cakes for retirements, as well as PTA events! Her expertise has been invaluable throughout the last few years. Jacque has helped make the day special for many at our school! She is truly one of a kind!

Grant Doug Van Oort

Grant Elementary - Doug Van Oort

Doug has volunteered at Grant for several years with the Page Pal program. He is a professor at Kirkwood Community College who recruits students from the teaching program to volunteer at Grant. He is very dependable. With his kind and soft-spoken ways, he has built great relationships with our students and they are always excited to see him. Having such a positive male role model and mentor in our building has such a great impact on our kids. During his weekly visits to Grant, he plays games and reads with our students. He is patient as they pick out books to read and while teaching kids to play games, sometimes adapting the rules to fit the student.  Doug also has helped raise money for our school through bake sales at Kirkwood and the money is used to support our students in various ways.  His dedication to Grant is greatly appreciated. We are very lucky to have Doug as a volunteer at Grant! 

GrantWood Ellen & Richard Hull

Richard & Ellen Hull

Grant Wood is blessed to have a dynamic volunteer duo with Richard and Ellen Hull. Together, they have made it their mission to increase confidence and knowledge in math for students in 2nd-5th grade by volunteering 3-4 days a week. Richard's math brain has a way of helping students understand math processes that they use every day. He recruited his wife, Ellen, two years ago to prevent her from being bored at home during retirement. She has been a wonderful addition as she helps students with basic math facts. She knows they need those facts to build their confidence and to build upon other math skills. The Hulls are dependable, uplifting, and patient and they always have new strategies for kids that are having a challenging time with math. The kids see their passion and WANT to work with them! The Hulls are truly a gift to our school as they now are starting to recruit more retirees as they see the need for extra assistance. They also volunteer for our Santa's Workshop and other events that impact our students. The extra support the Hulls give means the world to the staff and students. Richard and Ellen Hull are truly Grant Wood's DYNAMIC VOLUNTEER DUO!

Harrison Tyler Teare

Harrison Elementary - Tyler Teare

Tyler comes to Harrison with a group of adults from Goodwill Heartland. He is involved in helping with our Read Every Day folders, a program in which all students at Harrison participate. Tyler helps by replacing the books in the folders when the students return them. This involves re-shelving the old books and finding a new book on the shelf to replace it with. The folder books are tracked upon return so students can get their picture taken after every 10 nights. Volunteers in this program remind the students to return their book if it is not in the folder, make sure the parent has signed their students’ folder, and organize the books in the leveled library when it is needed. Tyler is a big part of the success of this program. He is always so enthusiastic and we enjoy having him here at Harrison. We appreciate all that he does and his dedication to work hard.  


Hiawatha Helen Potthoff

Hiawatha Elementary - Helen Potthoff

Helen has been volunteering at Hiawatha Elementary in a 5th grade classroom for the past 2 years. She is willing to help in any manner possible. The students love having Helen in the classroom because she is always willing to help them and also takes the time to talk to them about what is going on in their lives. Ms. Wiley appreciates having another teacher in the classroom who wants to help the students succeed as much as she does. Helen is an outstanding volunteer and a valuable asset at Hiawatha Elementary.

Hoover Connie Williams

Hoover Elementary - Connie Williams

Connie Williams is a retired teacher who provides instructional support to several classrooms. Students look forward to seeing "Grandma Connie" each week.  She has been volunteering at Hoover for many years and has established special relationships with many of the students that she helps. She also helps Hoover with the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable (snack) Program, by sorting the snacks into bins for each classroom. Connie also helps in our Community Room/Food Pantry.  She brings in recipes and food samples for families to try, using many of the items that we have available in the food pantry.  She is here on Thursday evenings when the food pantry is open and available for families. She helps families by loading their cars, as well. Additionally, Connie has donated personal items to our community room such as shoes/boots for our families in need. Her positive attitude, smile and willingness to help is greatly appreciated by Hoover staff, students and families!

Jackson Lori Weber

Jackson Elementary - lori weber

Lori is a capable volunteer that has positively impacted the Jackson community.  She has proven throughout her nine years of volunteering to be reliable, selfless, and caring. Lori has led the charge for the Jackson SCRIP Program for six years.  She steps up weekly to ensure the program runs smoothly.  Lori and her family have directed and celebrated the Jackson Trunk or Treat event for more than five years.  She is an active and supportive PTA member. In addition to these ongoing commitments, she shows up to any- and everything, willing to do what is needed to support her community, and get it done. We appreciate a volunteer who is willing to step up and lead, and willing to take part and support an event or program.  To have someone like Lori—who is always smiling, consistently helpful, and dedicated to the advancement of the Jackson Community—is a gift.

Johnson Debra Ackermann

Johnson STEAM Academy - Debra Ackerman

Debbie is such an amazing volunteer! We are blessed to have her as a part of our JSA family. Her advocacy, sense of humor, and willingness to share her time, energy, and passion for JSA makes a difference for our staff and students every single day. She has been an active PTA member since 2016 and has served as PTA Secretary, PTA President, and on many other Committees. She really makes our Family Events Night fun for everyone with her ready smile and problem-solving skills. She enjoys volunteering because it helps her son see his education is important and that she is invested in what he does at school as much as at home. She also enjoys the environment at JSA and has a lot of fun working with the staff and other parents. 

KLA Bill Werner

Kenwood Leadership Academy - Bill Werner

Bill Werner has been volunteering at KLA for the past three years, and many additional years in other buildings in our district. In his three years volunteering at KLA, he has worked primarily with fifth grade. If he isn't volunteering at KLA, he is outside golfing! This year he volunteers the entire math block 3-5 times a week. Students working with him work to enrich their math skills through problem-solving, extension activities related to classroom skills, as well as logic activities to stretch their critical thinking. Students LOVE working with Bill and look forward to their time learning with him. Some of the comments I heard from students about Bill include: "I like being challenged and doing math with you. I like the fun games we play." "I like exercising my brain in a fun way. I appreciate you coming to help us stretch our brains." "I enjoy that you volunteer because we learn math through fun games."

Madison Janelle Solberg

Madison Elementary - Janelle Solberg

Janelle began her volunteering as a Madison Mustang student from 1979 to 1986 when she was a volunteer on the School Safety Patrol.  Janelle began to regularly volunteer at Madison again when her daughter entered kindergarten in 2002.  Janelle continued to volunteer while her three children have attended Madison. She has volunteered for both the Boy and Girl Scout troops and was the first Daisy leader at Madison!  Additionally, Janelle has completed volunteer work for classroom teachers both in and out of the classroom. Most notably, Janelle has given of her talents to the Madison PTA. She has assisted with Trading Pages, the Walk-A-Thon, Spring Carnival, Family Fun Night, Teacher Appreciation Week, Volunteer Breakfast and Fundraisers to name a few.  Janelle has not only been a volunteer but has also been a member of the PTA Board. Under her leadership, teachers have received additional technology such as document cameras and iPads for their classrooms. The music department has received many new instruments and the library hundreds of books.  Janelle’s generous spirit and volunteer hours have blessed many members of the Madison Community and we are honored to call her our friend and advocate. We applaud her volunteer work and recognize Janelle Solberg as Madison’s Outstanding Building Volunteer!

Nixon Jessica Stricker

Nixon Elementary - Jessica Stricker

Jessica is a vital part of the Nixon PTA and Nixon’s volunteers.  She works behind the scenes to prepare for PTA meetings and activities. She also works hard to help plan, prepare, and fundraise for the school carnival.  She has been known to bring her whole family along to volunteer at some of Nixon activities. She has her middle and high school children volunteer and they invite their friends to volunteer also. She is very committed to volunteering and sets that example for her children. When there is a need at Nixon, Jessica has a lot of good ideas on what will work and how the PTA can help. Jessica consistently works to ensure that student and staff needs at Nixon are met by taking projects home and by helping the PTA coordinate volunteers. Nixon is fortunate to have Jessica and her ideas as a part of our caring and committed Volunteers.


Pierce Agnieszka Richter

Pierce Elementary - Agnieszka (Ata) Richter

Ata provides positive and visible leadership for our K-2 Pierce Page Turners program. This program provides a book for each Kindergarten, first, and second grade student to take home each night, increasing their motivation to read and supporting literacy success. In order to ensure this program functions, Ata has been instrumental in advocating and securing for funding for new books, collaborating with staff to select books to order, and organizing materials and volunteers to make the program possible.  Ata has trained all of our current volunteers to run the program and also volunteers weekly herself by filling book folders. Additionally, Ata is an active PTA member. Teachers would tell you that Ata is always looking for ways to help teachers and students during the day. She can be seen reading with students, helping students with work, and putting smiles on faces. Ata is certainly one of a kind and spoils us with her unconditional love and support for students, teachers, and staff at Pierce. She truly goes above and beyond.

Taylor Pam Long

Taylor Elementary - Pam Long

This is Pam’s second year volunteering at Taylor Elementary.  Ms. Buhr’s first grade class is incredibly grateful for the number of ways she assists and supports her class. Each week, she becomes an essential part of the classroom routine by leading small groups in playing cooperative reading and math games, including everyone’s favorite, Memory Word Bingo. Pam also helps by giving and correcting weekly spelling tests, filing student work, and preparing classroom materials for use. Her willingness to help, provides Mrs. Buhr with precious spare minutes to spend on other responsibilities. Pam’s greatest contribution is the extra attention she gives to the kids. Whether by spending additional time with a struggling student or letting a giggling group of six-year-olds beat her at UNO during indoor recess. Her kindness and devotion to the students at Taylor is noticed and greatly appreciated.

Truman Linda Daly

Truman Elementary - Linda Daly

Linda Daly has volunteered for first and second grade classrooms for several years. As a retired teacher, she is familiar with these age groups. She supports our first and second grade students with enrichment and intervention groups. Our students benefit from the math extensions and interventions Linda provides.   Linda gives the extra support these students need; she challenges them to explain their thinking and to develop a deeper understanding of math concepts.  Throughout the years, Linda has helped many of our primary students master the grade level math standards.  We are so fortunate to have this veteran teacher return to the building where she taught for many years!  Linda's expertise is both useful and greatly appreciated!  

Van Buren Alana Bilyeu

Van Buren Elementary - Alana Bilyeu

Alana is our Go-To Volunteer! She volunteers for such a wide variety of tasks and has even taken on the not-so-popular (bordering on dreadful) job of helping to "shelve" books in our IMC! That alone should warrant lunch with the governor! We’re not sure how she manages to fit everything in, on top of her full time job, but we love her for it. When she is not here popping popcorn on Pride Days, she can be found galivanting around town with our kiddos on field trips, ushering kids back and forth for hearing/vision screening, prepping students for picture days, doing the homeroom parent "gig", as well as reading books on America Reads Day. That is not the end of her resume as she is always finding ways to put our kids at the top of her To-Do List! Many thanks to this incredible Mom, Volunteer and Friend of Van Buren for her countless contributions to better the education of all Van Buren students.

Viola Gibson Sarah Mersch

Viola Gibson Elementary - Sarah Mersch

Sarah Mersch has made a substantial and lasting impact through her volunteering at Viola Gibson. Sarah began volunteering and participating in the Viola Gibson PTA in 2015 and joined the board in 2017. She serves as the PTA Vice President this year. Sarah has been instrumental in carrying out the Gibson Elementary Spring Carnival since becoming a school parent, including serving as chair of the planning committee in 2018. Not only does Sarah volunteer at the school for everything from roller skating in gym class to fundraising events and more, she has helped develop new volunteering opportunities and systems that will serve the school for years to come. This year, she initiated a popular new drop-in volunteering program allowing volunteers to help ease the prep work burden for teachers and helped set up a new library system where volunteers help check in and re-shelve books. Sarah is a leader in our building, a go-to person who holds extensive institutional knowledge and does it all with heart and good humor. 

Wright Katie Powell

Wright Elementary - Katie Powell

Katie has been a go-getter at Wright School taking on the role of Wright PTO President and all-around ambassador of planning.  With the drive from Katie, the Wright PTO has increased its family activities in the evenings and has taken on the responsibility of organizing the Spring Carnival.  Katie loves to promote Wright with everything she does, and we are so happy to have her leading the charge for our staff and students!  Thanks, Katie!

Franklin Karen Swanson

Franklin Middle School - Karen Swanson

It is a misconception that middle schools do not need parent volunteers. We do! And we really appreciate the ones who come in with their shirt sleeves rolled up and ready to work as a 6th grade parent then keep the momentum going into 7th grade as Karen Swanson has done. Karen has an extensive history of volunteering in the community and is the District’s Executive Director of the Foundation, so she brings a great knowledge base to our PTA for special projects and grants. She currently serves as our secretary and precisely and promptly prepares the meeting minutes and written PTA communications. She is much more than a paper-pusher, though. Karen is present when there is work to be done. She has helped with organizing our new student hygiene and clothing closet; counting day for our Annual Fundraiser; working concessions at the school dances; cooking and cleanup for the teacher conference meals, hospitality at our inaugural Day of We and transporting band equipment to competitions. Karen’s commitment to Franklin Middle School is apparent in all her actions and she is greatly appreciated by the staff and PTA.

Harding Sara Scott

Harding Middle School - Sara Scott

Sara has been a wonderful addition to Harding as a parent and as a volunteer.  She has given many hours supporting the Harding show choirs and academic programs.  Her thoughtfulness, attention to detail, and willingness to jump in to action have made her a valued member of our school community.  This year, Sara can be found behind the scenes fitting students, organizing clothing, keeping students where they need to be and delegating other parent volunteers.  She is the “head mom” and works to keep things running smoothly. Thank you for the time you give to our students and staff!

McKinley Elsa & Al Lewis

McKinley Middle School - Al & Elsa Lewis

Dedicated and reliable are just a couple words to describe Elsa and Al Lewis. Volunteering with McKinley’s food pantry, the Grizzly Cove, Elsa and Al have gone above and beyond. When the Grizzly Cove first opened in January 2018, it averaged eight students per week. It now averages 30-35 students per week. Elsa and Al play an integral part of the food pantry’s success. They facilitate the weekly food orders, weigh food, and help stock the shelves. They are also a great advocate for getting the pantry what it needs. Elsa and Al provided Hy-Vee gift cards to Grizzly Cove students during the holidays. They are always thinking about how we can improve the pantry and reach more families. During the Polar Vortex, the Lewis’ helped distribute over 470 pounds of food to students. We are grateful for the time Elsa and Al are donating to the Grizzly Cove and their dedication to helping our students. 

RCCBA Rick Jennings

Roosevelt Creative Corridor Business Academy - 
Rick Jennings

Throughout our Magnet journey, Rick has gone above and beyond to support and serve the students of RCCBA. He continues to enhance and organize our Blended Learning Lab by shelving books, supporting library initiatives and, most recently, carting hundreds of computers for our building's new technology roll out provided through the district. Rick has also played a key role in RCCBA's Elective Block experience. Most notable have been his contributions during the Free Little Libraries project where he played a critical role in prototyping the design, gathering materials, supporting students for several weeks during construction, and installing the libraries in local organizations around the Cedar Rapids area. Rick continues to act in selfless ways as he gives of his time and talents. We are grateful for his service and for helping to make RCCBA a better place for our students. Thank you, Rick for all you do.

Taft Angi Kevitt

Taft Middle School - Angi Kevitt

Angi has been a valued volunteer at Taft for the past seven years.  She has been an active member of our PTA, serving as Hospitality Chair for all seven years that her children have attended Taft.  Each year, she has been responsible for providing the staff with a welcome-back breakfast at the start of the year, meals for staff during parent/teacher conferences, and a breakfast for Taft’s 8th graders on the last day of school.  We can always count on Angi to mobilize a small army of Taft parents to provide staff and students with a great meal. These meals are a wonderful way for staff and students to build community and share memories.  Angi has also been a regular volunteer with the Taft Carnival and the Taft Magazine Sale.  Angi believes in giving back to the school and is always willing to step forward if a need arises.  She is a humble person, but she should know that she makes a difference at Taft.  Thank you Angi for all you do!

Wilson Casey Hoeger

Wilson Middle School - Casey Hoeger

Mr. Casey has been volunteering here at Wilson for years. He is a go-getter as he enters the building. When he sees things that need to be done, he goes for it. He changed the Cracker box gym into a weight/workout room. He cleaned the area, found donations for equipment and corralled funding for this project. After school he has students who come work out and get conditioned for other sports. The workout club has been a success for our students. During football season he noticed our field was in need of attention so, using his personal riding lawn mower, went to work on the whole field, loaded the grass clippings into his truck and hauled if off the school grounds. He maintained it during the season. He is also our wrestling coach and because of his strong presence in our building, many students gravitate toward him and this sport. Besides all that, he encourages the RAM PRIDE (Personal Responsibility, Respect, Integrity, Determination and Excellence) in our students and staff.  He mentors some of the kids through his job as a Cedar Rapids Police Officer. If he is in the building and feels we need a helping hand, he is Johnny on the spot. No questions asked. He is our Hero and Outstanding Building Volunteer.

Jefferson Shellie & Ryan Pike

Jefferson High School - Ryan & Shellie Pike

Ryan and Shellie have been serving our kids and parents across the community through volunteering their time and talents to PTA organizations all throughout their two children's school years. While under Ryan and Shellie's guidance as PTSA board members, Jefferson's PTSA has given thousands of dollars’ worth of grants for teacher projects as well as tens of thousands of dollars to students in the form of post-secondary educational scholarships. On top of all their support through their work with our PTSA, this will be the seventh year in a row that Ryan and Shellie are planning and executing our Post Prom Party for Jefferson, providing a safe and fun alternative choice for kids following the annual Spring Prom dance. Ryan and Shellie's energy and care for our kids and our schools all over the city and state is humbling and inspiring.  We cannot thank them enough for their tremendous sacrifices they've made to serve students and families!

Kennedy Annette Brightwell

Kennedy High School - Annette Brightwell

Annette, along with her husband John, has been supporting Kennedy activities since 2003.  She was a Booster Club rep for Cheer, Volleyball, and Girls Basketball when her daughters attended Kennedy.  She also led PSGs for Basketball and Volleyball.  Currently, Annette has taken over the Kennedy concession stand operations, providing consistency and organization to that operation. It is impossible to imagine a game without Annette making sure the concession stands are fully stocked. She does this despite the fact that her children graduated from Kennedy years ago!

Metro Brad May

Metro High School - Brad May

Brad brings a calm, engaging, and thoughtful presence to Metro. He is an excellent role model for young men and women by being polite, thoughtful, responsible and compassionate. Our classrooms often are chaotic, with lots of people sharing ideas and having Brad around gives teachers the opportunity to engage and include everyone’s ideas and really have a team environment. He is an excellent listener, asking probing questions and encouraging ideas. He knows everyone by their first name, and even this small detail offers our kids a sense of belonging and they understand him to be another person cares about them on a personal level. Brad has given up his time on evenings and weekends to work and travel with the Robotics team, traveling to competitions and helping the students problem-solve.  Our students have quickly accepted him as part of the Metro community and event ask about him when he isn’t here! Brad’s background with technology and small systems offers perspective and expertise, and in our classrooms this is a perfect fit. Some of our students do not have a role model in their lives and may not have someone at home who genuinely shows they care. Brad cares for everyone and is always willing to go the extra mile. Knowing him, he would probably say his contribution is minimal. But he would be wrong. Metro has had a long line of great volunteers; Brad is among them.

Washington Becky Lindwall

Washington High School - Becky Lindwall

Becky has worked closely with our ninth grade engagement specialist and ninth grade teachers to provide tutoring and support to students that need an extra push.  Many students that were not experiencing success have shown tremendous growth with Becky's help.  Her expertise in English has helped guide students in a class that is challenging to many ninth graders.  Becky can be counted on to help in any way asked and she has a strong, positive attitude that others embrace.  We are very fortunate to have her in the Washington family.

Use this link for a printable copy of the honorees

The Outstanding Building Volunteer Event