DOBSON — Surry County Schools named its volunteer of the year on Thursday at the Shelton-Badgett Center for Viticulture and Enology, thanks to technology allowing Tabitha Crouse to Skype her thanks from Forsyth Medical Center to those assembled. Crouse, who is the White Plains Elementary Volunteer of the Year, had given birth to Corbin Tucker Crouse, a 9-pound, 9-ounce boy, at 10:45 a.m. on Wednesday.
The announcement capped off the reception titled “Volunteering: A Work of Art,” where volunteers each received framed student art work in addition to certificates from the county’s Board of Education. Prior to the finale, Board Chairman Earlie Coe addressed the audience.
“It amazes me at the amount who volunteer in Surry County,” said Coe. “Especially now. It makes a difference. I would say we have at least 450 volunteers in our county’s 19 schools and from what I’ve seen there is an achievement by one of our students seemingly in the paper every day. In my opinion, this is all the more important because the public schools are under assault. I think much legislative action is almost amounting to dismantling the system. Thank you and keep up the good work.”
Vice Chairman Brian Gates reminded the audience the previous week was Public School Volunteer Week and explained the process of arriving at the 19 finalists.
“Out of the 450 volunteers systemwide, each school has chosen a volunteer who most exemplifies the definition of volunteerism and one who goes above and beyond to help the school be successful,” said Gates. “These 19 individuals have already donated in excess of 2,000 hours of their valuable time this school year.” Video presentations followed with individual recognitions of the volunteers from each school.
Gates first recognized Lena White, who has volunteered in county schools for 14 years. He said she would mark her 87th birthday on May 13.
Terry Marcum was tapped at the volunteer of the year for Cedar Ridge Elementary. Her tutoring of students and holding self-selected reading conferences as well as “enthusiasm and willingness to go the extra mile both with students and faculty.” Shayla Beers was Copeland Elementary’s selection. The first-year volunteer was noted for “hitting the ground running” and for contributing more than 130 hours and for her involvement in the spring book fair. Central Middle School named Amy Dockery as its volunteer of the year. She was honored for her support of the school Food Back Pack Program. Dockery was recognized for “her great gift of lifting others up to a level they didn’t even know they could achieve.”
Michael Gentry was named as Dobson Elementary as its volunteer of the year. Gentry has volunteered at the school for two years and given 100 hours of time. He was noted for involvement with a 34 student mentor program as well as helping the PTO with gym renovation plans. East Surry’s Volunteer of the Year is Kenny Meredith, who has served as a parent representative on the School Improvement Team for two years. He is also the treasurer for the East Surry Arts and Academic Team (ESAAT) and supports the Cardinal Athletic Boosters. He had given more than 71 hours in volunteer work.
Flat Rock Elementary chose Diane Alligood as its volunteer of the year. She has given more than 100 hours of service and as the third through fifth grade PTO parent representative, assisting with every PTO initiative this school year. She participated in the PTO Box Tops Blitz and leadership in the Flat Rock Jump-A-Thon as well as the Dragon Packs food program. John and Robin Creed were selected by Franklin Elementary as its volunteers of the year. The two have contributed more than 109 hours. They were noted for their efforts with all grade levels in reading and their ability to find costumes to match whatever event was being held at the school.
Six-year volunteer Tammy Simmons was picked as volunteer of the year by Gentry Middle. Her efforts as Booster treasurer helped the group raise $8,000. She also was praised for her help with the Port-a-Pit Chicken, bingo and teacher appreciation week activities. Meadowview Middle School selected Kathryn Freed as its volunteer of the year. The three-year volunteer contributed 155 hours, serving as a volunteer receptionist as well as tutoring and supervising students.
Karen Hayworth was picked at Mountain Park Elementary’s volunteer of the year and has contributed more than 200 hours at the school. Her encouragement of students and staff was praised as well as making instructional aids to use with remediation and helped in the office. Misty Dodson was named as North Surry High School’s volunteer of the year. The first-year volunteer was praised for giving 110 hours and her support of the Booster Club. Pilot Mountain Elementary chose eight-year volunteer Kristie Tucker as its volunteer of the year. She was praised for helping to form the core of the PTO program, making purchases including outdoor benches and tables and student recognition possible. Her contributions to help supervise school events also was praised.
Shannon Lane was chosen as Pilot Mountain Middle’s volunteer of the year with more than 70 hours of service given. Her leadership and work in the concession stand at athletics events was honored. Rockford Elementary chose Dee Snow as its volunteer of the year. She has volunteered for three years at the schools and has given 65 hours in the media center, office and third grade. Carol Dunning was picked by Shoals Elementary School as its volunteer of the year. The first-year volunteer’s support for kindergarten, first grade and in the media center was praised. She has logged more than 77 hours volunteering at Shoals.
Surry Central named Chris and Rebecca White as its volunteers of the year for their involvement with the Boosters Club for four years. Their efforts were honored for helping the group raise more than $50,000 for press box replacement as well as helping the Boosters Club Golf Tournament. The two have given more than 150 hours in service in four years. Surry Early College’s volunteer of the year honor was given to Ricky White, a six-and-a-half year volunteer. White’s fundraising efforts were praised as well as his help proctoring. He also volunteers at Central Middle and Dobson Elementary.
Westfield Elementary named Sandra Boles as its volunteer of the year. Boles has given more than 340 hours in service and was noted for her work in the media center, and assistance to teachers and students as well as being a mentor. White Plains Elementary named five-year volunteer Tabitha Crouse to volunteer of the year honors with more than 375 hours of service given. Her support of the food backpack program also was praised.
“This is an example of how public education reaches everyone,” said Superintendent Dr. Travis Reeves at the conclusion of the reception. “It’s about when everyone works together and shares their time because they care. It (education) takes resources and the most important resource we have is time. The more we share the more we have.”
Reach David Broyles at email@example.com or 719-1952.