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Volunteers of the Year

In celebration of Volunteer Appreciation Month, Superintendent Wade Smith is proud to announce Sharon Gerbino, Karen Kelly, Rhonda Applebee, Sharon Carter, and Chrissty Cason as the district’s 2016-2017 Art Regier Volunteers of the Year.

PHOTO L to R: Superintendent Wade Smith, Sharon Gerbino, Rhonda Applebee, Chrissty Cason and Sharon Carter. Not in photo - Karen Kelly.

The Award
The Art Regier Outstanding Volunteer Award was instituted in 1991 as a memorial to “Grandpa Art” Regier. Regier, a retiree who devoted years of service to elementary schools in Walla Walla, epitomized the spirit of volunteerism in education. His tireless dedication and concern for the students he served are the inspiration for this award.

Criteria for selection may include the following:
1. Exceptional service or contributions to the children of Walla Walla Public Schools
2. Unusual dedication
3. Demonstration of care, compassion and empathy

Sharon Gerbino – Volunteer site: Berney Elementary (four years)
Nominators – April Brown, Stacy Morrison and Kathy Kellie
· Sharon is known as the “Grandma” of first grade at Berney
· She comes once a week and rarely misses her afternoon session with the students
· She organizes art projects and provides snacks and always refuses reimbursement for the supplies
· Sharon helps organize daily folders, preps for lessons and is known for her kindness and generous spirit

Nominator Stacy Morrison said: “Once a month she plans a big art project for all three classes. She provides the supplies, teaches the lesson and cleans up. Sharon is definitely all about kids.”

Karen Kelly – Volunteer site: Multiple district schools in support of the district’s music program (13 years)
Nominators: Stefanie Flerchinger, Roger Garcia, Caleb Condie, Maria Garcia and Lori Parnicky
· Karen provides free piano support to accompany music students across the district
· You’ll see her supporting students singing in choirs and playing piano in the pit for drama productions
· Karen is also willing to travel at her own expense to support state solo and ensemble contests
· Her commitment to the music program requires countless hours of practice to prepare for performances

Nominator Roger Garcia said: “Karen is a prime example of the quality people that surround our students in the Walla Walla School District. This helps us turn our students into world class musicians and more importantly helps us Develop Washington’s Most Sought-After Graduates.”

Rhonda Applebee – Sharpstein Elementary (five years)
Nominators: Maria Garcia and Sharpstein PTA Board
· Rhonda has served on the Sharpstein PTA board for four years, two as secretary and two as president
· She has assisted with garden lessons, helped with school-wide vision testing and supported afterschool programs, including the Garden and Science Clubs
· Rhonda has helped coordinate PTA sponsored events including the Miles Club, School Carnival and Family Nights
· She manages the Sharpstein Cares program in support of food and clothing drives and Adopt-a-Family holiday campaigns

Maria Garcia and PTA Nominators said: “Rhonda’s willingness to step up and take on new projects, her enthusiasm for helping our children and her positive attitude are inspiring and exemplify the traits we believe an Art Regier Volunteer of the Year should have.”

Sharon Carter and Chrissty Cason – Berney Elementary (3 years)
Nominators: Jennifer Holbrook, Michelle Carpenter and April Brown
· This grandmother and mother team make quite a dynamic duo at Berney Elementary
· Each Friday they volunteer in Jennifer Holbrook’s class where they take on jobs big and small
· They team to create beautiful bulletin boards in the hallways and develop fun art projects and never accept reimbursement for the supplies they purchase
· Sharon and Chrissty collect canned food for the food drive and support all school fundraisers
· They also stepped up to help coordinate and support this year’s book drive

Nominator April Brown said: “I do not have their granddaughter/daughter in my class anymore and they still come by my classroom and offer their help. They do my team’s bulletin board each month and always help with decorating for our programs. These ladies are quite a duo and help with anything and everything.”

WALLA WALLA PUBLIC SCHOOLS • 364 South Park St. • Walla Walla, WA 99362 • Phone: 509-527-3000 • Fax: 509.529.7713

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