District names Art Regier Volunteers of the Year
In celebration of Volunteer Appreciation Month, Superintendent Mick Miller is proud to announce Karri Bruce, Troi Coram, Bunny Aragone, Rachel McCauley, and Jim Hanson as the district’s 2013-2014 Art Regier Volunteers of the Year.
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
Bunny Aragone – Blue Ridge Elementary
Nominators: Liza Jacobson and Corey Hobbs
· She has chaperoned field trips, planned and organized class recognition events
· Last year she led a group of 5th grade girls through a book study and created a pen-pal club
· She is experienced with ACE’s data and is a big support of the Health Centers at Blue Ridge and Lincoln
· She helped a struggling student begin enjoying school and making better choices through art
· She purchased an art kit filled with colored pencils, artist chalks and more
· He loves art and used this kit all the time to fuel his creative passion
Nominator Corey Hobbs said: “Affectionately called Miss Bunny, students lavish her with hugs and high fives. Her presence is such an inviting and welcome occurrence that students are enthusiastic about getting the chance to work one-on-one, or in a small group with her.”
Karri Bruce – Sharpstein Elementary
Nominators – Terri Gilbert, Matt Bona, Jodi Weber and Ruthell Martinez, Terry Morgan
· Sharpstein PTA president and she volunteers in numerous classrooms at Sharpstein
· Coordinator of Sharpstein Fun Run Fundraiser which raised more than $7000 for Google Chromebooks for Sharpstein students
· Coordinator of Sharpstein Family Game Night and Spaghetti Dinner (more than 200 families attended)
· Co-Coordinator of Sharpstein Cares – Provides food and supplies to families in need
· Coordinator of Sharpstein book fair and co-coordinator of Sharpstein Miles Club
Nominator Terri Gilbert said:
“Karri believes all children deserve a chance and the opportunity to be provided for and to learn. Karri can be found at school early in the morning and late at night. There isn’t a job I have seen her delegate to others without doing it first. She seems to have an endless supply of positive energy and always has a smile on her face.”
Jim Hanson – Walla Walla High School Debate program
Nominators: Jean Tobin, Kendall Dunovant, and Malcolm Gabbard
· Jim is the former Whitman College debate coach and currently is chair of the Whitman College Rhetoric Department
· Jim has served as a volunteer assistant coach for the Wa-Hi Debate team for the past five years
· This past year, he has donated three hours per week to help coach the Lincoln-Douglas debaters
· He often travels to debates around the state at his own expense
· The team has been successful; consistently 1st in the district, ranked 5th in state and two state champions in five years
Nominator Jean Tobin said: “Since our Wa-Hi Debate program began in the Fall of 2009, he has personally donated thousands of dollars and debate materials, provided free registration to the Whitman tournament, given scholarships to Whitman debate camp to Wa-Hi debaters and provided members of Whitman’s Debate team to help coach, mentor and judge our team.
Troi Coram – Green Park Elementary
Nominators: Brenda Kirk, Gina Yonts, Colleen Chamberlain-Biddle
· Troi has been a reliable and positive volunteer at Green Park for the past five years.
· She has worked in classrooms and as the PTA president.
· Troi helps organize the Math-a-thon which brought in $13,000 this year
· She helps coordinate the teacher meals program during conferences
· She helped Brenda Kirk get the Accelerated Reading program up and running in her classroom
Nominator Brenda Kirk said: “Troi is unfailing patient and kind with the students, always providing encouragement. She has played an essential role in the success of our immersion first grade, new this year at Green Park. Not only did she enroll her own son in the program, but she volunteers two mornings per week during reading and math instruction.”
Rachel McCauley – Berney Elementary
Nominators: Christy Krutulis, Annette Matlock, Stacy Morrison
· Rachel is co-president for the Berney PTA
· She has coordinated the Carnegie Picture Lab for the second consecutive year
· She helps coordinate Movie Nights, the book fair, carnival and annual fundraiser.
· Rachel has created a Berney PTA Facebook page to help improve communications
· She helps grade papers, organizes art projects, assists with Accelerated Reader and classroom libraries
Nominator Stacy Morrison said: “The students love her humor, creativity, patience and time. She comes in each Friday and does whatever it is that needs to be done in our classroom. She works hard to make all of our school wide events organized, fun and well attended.