Volunteer Recognition

Volunteer Recognition 2013-14 - Print Version click here


Arthur Elementary - Becky Lindwall 

Becky works one-on-one to assist with math skills. She is extremely supportive and encouraging and strives to help the student put their best foot forward. Becky always wears a smile and has an energetic personality that is contagious. She is also extremely reliable; she has made a commitment to volunteering her time to help enrich the lives of the students at Arthur and staff and students can rest assured she will be there. Becky sets an example for others by her dedication, being a positive role model, and overall enthusiasm for volunteering.


Cleveland Elementary - Theresa Egger 

Theresa is a very familiar face at Cleveland. She helps each Popcorn Monday to help pop, bag, and deliver. She is always willing to help with PTA events and PE units. Staff know that if they need a dependable volunteer on a field trip, Theresa is a great person to turn to. She is not only kind but able to keep students in line and focused on whatever activity they are working on. She has earned their respect. Theresa does not need to be told exactly what to do and requires very little step-by-step guidance to complete a task. She is a team player and able to adapt to any situation or activity.


Coolidge Elementary - Anita Heaverlo, Outstanding District Volunteer

Anita has volunteered at Coolidge for many years, starting when her own children attended and continuing as her grandchildren attended. She now volunteers while her adopted grandchildren are attending the school. During her years of service, she has provided a diverse range of instructional support, helping students with reading and math objectives, serving as a guest artist and assisting with the design and painting of the musical backdrops, and tying laces and guiding students as they learn to roller skate in PE. The library also utilized her talents by having her create posters and bulletin boards for special events. All students and staff members benefit from Anita’s contributions because she is multi-talented and willing to help wherever she is needed.


Erskine Elementary - Dennis McDermott

Dennis has worked with small groups at all grade levels, providing students with additional assistance and extension opportunities. He has been a chaperone on field trips, supported classroom activities, and supervised numerous school events. As the voice of “Book Fair Bingo” he has played a key role in the annual PTA book fair supporting the school library. There isn’t a volunteer job that Dennis hasn’t filled at one time or another during his 9 years as an Erskine parent, including serving as PTA President, Field Day Chairperson, and parent coordinator for Invent Iowa.


Garfield Elementary - Anna Schmall

Anna reads books to and with kindergarten students through the Rockin’ Reader program. She also works one-on-one and in small groups with 2nd and 3rd graders on their math facts. Anna helps in the media center with the fall and spring book fairs and with shelving library books. She is very reliable and friendly. Students and staff can count on her to be here each week, always with a smile and ready to help! She loves working with students and it shows.


Grant Elementary - Pat Halferty

Pat provides wonderful support for Grant readers, working two full days each week to prepare and distribute guided reading books to 1st and 2nd grade students. The take-home reading program helps students become stronger readers through practice. She also volunteers at the book fairs to help earn money to purchase new books for the library. Pat is dedicated to helping Grant students and is considered a grandmother by all because of her involvement at school. Children flock to her for books, as well as her hugs and smiles.


Grant Wood Elementary - Candy Jones

Candy is a constant and selfless volunteer. She provides both hands-on and behind-the-scenes support for students and staff. Her artistic ability supports classroom art projects, as well as the after-school art enrichment classes. She promotes literacy by volunteering to organize three book fairs each school year. She attends numerous field trips and assists with classroom parties. She created a receipt program which generated enough money for the school to purchase microphone headsets for the classroom audio system and she led the box top program to help fund new playground equipment. Her devotion has given the school both tangible and intangible gifts that will last for years.


Harrison Elementary - Kara McCusker

Kara volunteers twice each week in a second grade classroom, working one-on-one with students on their math facts. She encourages them to do their best and developed her own unique and creative strategies to help them. Students enjoy working with Kara as she is always positive and cheerful. Her willingness to help is an asset to the whole school community, which benefits from her high-quality and confidential commitment to the progress of students.


Hiawatha Elementary - Maria Peck

Maria arranges staff meals on parent-teacher conference nights. She is also a dependable helper in the classroom, chaperones field trips, organizes classroom parties, and volunteers for the Cougar Chase fundraiser and at Science Day events. She even recruited a large group of volunteers to clean and organize the PTO storage room, repaint the staff lounge and student bathrooms, wash windows, and update the campus landscaping. Maria is a regular volunteer at the school, and is always willing to help out, even on short notice.


Hoover Elementary - Joann Courtney

Every morning without fail Joann helps make sure students arrive at school safely. She helps them to exit cars and guides them as they cross the parking lot to the front door. She also makes sure they follow school expectations while waiting to enter the building. She is there on sunny days, rainy days, snowy days and freezing cold days. Joann’s assistance with students outside frees up staff to attend meetings, prepare for the day, provide extra help to students, and complete morning duties. Parents appreciate her efforts and the drop off process goes much more smoothly thanks to her assistance.


Jackson Elementary - Amy Renner

Amy works tirelessly to support Jackson students. When a third grade teacher put out a call for volunteer help, Amy stepped up to lead the small reading groups on a daily basis. This is especially impressive since she doesn’t have a child in that grade level. Her impact reaches across the school community. She has served as a Volunteer Coordinator for the past two years. Her support of staff ranges from staffing special physical education units and helping with classroom celebrations to coordinating PTA family fun nights. Amy is highly regarded as a person who goes above and beyond to support staff and students.


Johnson Elementary - Suzanne Staab

Suzanne has been an amazing asset to Johnson. She volunteers in the classroom, chaperones fieldtrips, plans and organizes school functions, and volunteers at all school activities. Suzanne is always willing to jump in and help anywhere she can help. Suzanne served as PTA President two years in a row and has been a strong advocate for the school within the community. She helped with the fundraising effort and assembly of the playground equipment, organizes the monthly Artist of The Month Soirees and After School Enrichments, and even teaches some of the programs as needed.


Kenwood Elementary - Carol Eilers

Carol volunteers every Tuesday and Thursday, without ever missing. This is very important because it can be time consuming to plan for volunteers and then they do not show up. She works one-on-one and in small groups with the students on reading and writing skills. She takes initiative and does things without being asked when she sees it needs to be done. Carol is always very upbeat and positive. Not only does she help students and teachers but her regular involvement and positive attitude enhances the school climate.


Madison Elementary - Dan Koch

As an active volunteer for Junior Achievement, Dan teaches the “Our City” unit to 3rd graders. Each day during the session, he provided students with a fun and interesting curriculum where they played games and learned about their community. He also serves on the PTA Board and makes sure that after-school events are well planned and carried out, including school carnivals, the Spring-a-Thon (walk-a-thon), various fundraising events, and Trunk-or-Treat. Dan is very pleasant to all students and staff and always goes above and beyond. He puts the students first and is helping build great memories at Madison.


Nixon Elementary - Patti Harper

Patti volunteers four mornings each week while her granddaughter attends preschool. She does a lot of preparation work for staff and does it quickly and well. She also takes some projects home. She helps in the library by shelving books, works with K-2 students on reading skills, and sorts the birthday pencils every month. She has volunteered as a hearing runner, with the winter wonderland celebration, and during America Reads Day. Staff and students truly appreciate how much she does for the school community.


Pierce Elementary - Tracy Pratt

During her eight years as a Pierce volunteer, Tracy has chaired the annual Fun Fest multiple times. This event raises funds that allow the school to purchase enrichment materials for students. Tracy also served as a building volunteer coordinator for 5 of those years, and created a volunteer email newsletter that goes out each week detailing the many opportunities to volunteer at Pierce. She also helped with the school’s book cart program, making sure that K-2 students had reading level books each day. Tracy has also helped with field trips and classroom parties on a regular basis.


Taylor Elementary - John Starr

John has been matched with his current lunch buddy since January 2012. He has developed an enduring relationship by meeting at the school every week to eat and play games with his “little.” John also has a math buddy that he eats lunch with on a weekly basis, supporting her math instruction. Further, John has championed multiple grants to help bring valuable instructional technology resources to the school including iPads, document cameras, and digital cameras, and he oversees a can/bottle recycling effort at work where he personally collects the recyclables to provide some extra funding for Taylor’s after-school enrichment program.


Truman Elementary - Linda Smith

Linda works with students in small groups on math and reading skills. She planned and implemented a 2nd grade book club with both fiction and nonfiction selections. The students then presented their new knowledge to the entire 2nd grade class. She uses her artistic talents to create eye-catching bulletin boards and posters. To help students understand fractions better, she baked a large cookie and cut it into segments. She chaperones field trips and supports teachers by assisting in the classroom. She can also be found in the gym helping with roller skating, fishing, gymnastics, and field day. She and her husband even shoveled snow on the side streets so students could safely meet their parents’ cars.


Van Buren Elementary - Jason Hall

Jason donates many hours to lead the school’s Lego League group. From start to finish, he worked with students to provide a fun, hands-on learning experience. He not only taught 4th and 5th grade students how to build the Lego creations, but also how to program the battery operated wonders to perform through a computer enhanced program. They also worked on a skit to depict this year’s theme, “Nature’s Fury.” The students were able to perform for the entire school this year, enabling them more practice before the district competition. Through the program, the students learned about engineering principles, teamwork, patience, computer programming, and performance etiquette, as well as thespian skills.


Viola Gibson Elementary - Sara Scott

Sara has been a member of the PTA for six years where she has chaired many committees and been instrumental in numerous school fund-raising efforts. She has also played an important role in the Speak Up Program, helping 5th grade students to hone their public speaking skills while increasing their self-esteem.


Wright Elementary - Jill Ozarowicz

The instructional support provided by Jill to staff and students at Wright is multifaceted. She has arranged for college student volunteers to read with Wright students, conducts interactive read a louds in the 2nd grade classroom, and organizes after-school activities for the whole building to enjoy. Her energy is contagious as many staff have joined her passion and our volunteer hours in the building have increased tremendously because of their drive and consistent follow through.


Franklin Middle School - Lisa Slattery

Lisa has been an integral part of the Franklin volunteer program for five years. She has served as volunteer coordinator, PTA Vice-President, PTA President, and PTA Treasurer. She founded and spearheaded the PTA athletic concession stand to purchase a scoreboard for the athletic field. She helped create a partnership with Alliant Energy and has written successful Alliant grants. She started a school chess club at Franklin, assists with the Baby Think it Over Program, delivers Iowa Assessment snacks, and helps student council plant flower bulbs, create seasonal flowing pots for the front entrance, and beautify the area surrounding the school monument.


Harding Middle School - Theresa Chamberlain

Theresa has provided two years of substantial support to the Harding choral music program and the Classic Innovation Show Choir. Besides being responsible for all finances for the parent bank account, she has ordered and organized outfits, assembled the show choir parent committee, created sub committees, established google documents and other scheduling procedures, recruited parent volunteers, organized performance and travel plans, and communicated with parents on details. We are very fortunate to benefit from her leadership and organization skills, work ethic, and - most importantly - her compassion towards students in the program.


McKinley Middle School - Leah Ferring

Leah has volunteered her time and talents at McKinley with such activities as the book fair, field trips, Baby Think It Over, and testing. She currently chairs both the Box Tops for Education Program and the Variety Show Committee. She increased interest and participation in the box top program by creating a fun contest between homerooms. Her efforts as chair of the "Little Bit of Somethin' Community Variety Show" helped raise more than $30,000 to purchase new instruments, music, and sound and technical equipment for the school. Because of her leadership efforts, every student at McKinley who wishes to be involved in band, orchestra or choir has the opportunity to do so.


Roosevelt Middle School - Shellie Pike

Shellie has been an active member of the PTA at the school and District level for many years. She is a servant leader and possesses a willingness to take on any challenge if it means that her efforts will help to make our school a better place. Her positive attitude and commitment helps to strengthen the school community. At Roosevelt she has served as PTA President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary; she is also a member of the School Improvement Advisory Committee. Shellie is an ambassador, school advocate, and critical thinker that works hard to promote our schools. She has also been instrumental in creating solid partnerships with parents and staff within the District and beyond.


Taft Middle School - Sherry Manchester

Sherry gives of her time and talents freely and never seeks recognition, choosing instead to focus on helping Taft to be a great place to work, learn, and grow. During her several years as a Taft volunteer, Sherry has served as PTA Co-President, Secretary, and on committees including Hospitality, and Carnival Baskets. Her wisdom and kid-centered approach are always valued. She assists teachers with checking agendas, spelling tests, and math practice sheets and has spent many hours in the library shelving books. Sherry also provides delicious staff dinners and supplies food for after-concert band celebrations. She also helps with the magazine sale fundraising effort.


Wilson Middle School - T.J. Wittliff

T. J. serves as the mentor for the Wilson Lego League. He is passionate about his own career in engineering and about exposing young people to the STEM fields of employment. He truly enjoys employing math concepts and basic engineering principals to the robotic missions that students learned about during Lego League. In addition, T. J. has motivated both staff and students to look for other STEM related activities and has been instrumental in the creation of a Robotics Club, a first in the Wilson Middle School community. Throughout, students have been exposed to a high-level, real-life, project-based learning experience.


Jefferson High School - Susan Phillips

For the past three years, Susan has been the lead costume sewer for the Show Choir program. She spends hundreds of hours not just sewing, but designing, shopping for the perfect fabric, and making adjustments before she actually makes the prototype outfits. This process usually starts in May or June and continues until the preview show in December. ‘No’ or ‘we can’t do that’ is something never heard from Susan. Often referred to as mom by current and alumni performers, her positive attitude, love of students, and simple sense of pride in the program makes her an outstanding volunteer.


Kennedy High School - Heather Feuerhelm

Heather is the type of volunteer that is always just a text or phone call away. She has been involved in the Kennedy Band Program for six years and has served on the Kennedy Band Parents Board in a variety of capacities. She makes herself available during marching season (even when her son is playing football) as well as winter – show choir/jazz band season, and spring – concert band season. She traveled with the groups to Ireland last year and was invaluable as a chaperone. She established and continues to run the registration website used for the Five Seasons Marching Band Competition as well as the registration website for the Five Seasons Middle School Honor Band.


Metro High School - Wade Hiner

Wade takes his passion for bettering Metro very seriously. No request, need, or idea receives less than 100% of his attention to make it happen. He serves as a role model for positive community-school relations. He exemplifies how one can use their strengths to become involved and make a difference in the lives of students. Over the past several years, Wade has been involved in such volunteer projects as school remodeling, mentoring, educational supply drives, and classroom discussions. No matter the project, his enthusiasm never wavers.


Washington High School - Karen Allen

Karen has volunteered for four years with the Washington iJAG Program, (Iowa Jobs for America’s Graduates), supporting students at high risk of dropping out. Every week, she volunteers for all 3 periods of the 9th and 10th grade iJAG class, assisting with academic remediation. She also helps with special projects, field trips, and unique needs. In addition, Karen advocates for iJAG students with family and school issues as needed. She is also currently serving as the Washington PTA President, and previously served as vice-president and as a committee chair for the College Day Event. Karen’s generous efforts are truly appreciated by students, staff, and other volunteers.