Friday, May 16, 2014

OKCPS Foundation Recognizes Volunteers

Although these volunteers are not strictly mentors, we are interested in how they contribute to their communities and how the sponsoring body chooses to thank them. 

Foundation Names Valuable Volunteers  

Posted May 13, 2014  

The Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools has named six people who have volunteered thousands of hours in Oklahoma City Public Schools as its 2013-14 Valuable Volunteers.

Winners are nominated in the fall, and a committee chooses up to six winners each spring. The volunteer is honored at a school assembly and recognized in The Foundation's annual Stars of Education publication. Each winner's school receives $500.

The Valuable Volunteer selection is part of The Foundation's annual Stars of Education program, which also highlights teachers, support staff and community partners. Devon Energy, Chesapeake Energy Corp., Cox Communications and SONIC, America's Drive-In, served as presenting sponsors for this year's Stars of Education program.

"As our school district continues to improve, we know that volunteers willing to spend their time and energy helping our students and teachers are invaluable." said Dave Lopez, interim superintendent for Oklahoma City Public Schools. "They deserve to be recognized for their commitment and example to others."

This year's Valuable Volunteer winners are:

Will and Michelle Calvo, Monroe Elementary,   

Will and Michelle Calvo, whose two daughters attend Monroe Elementary, have helped strengthen the school's Parent-Teacher Association and routinely assist with other school projects. Michelle tutors two third-grade students, and Will tries to take off work one day each month to volunteer in a sixth-grade class with more than 30 students. He's also recruited speakers for the class to expose students to career options.

Noma Gurich, Southeast High School  

The Honorable Noma Gurich, an Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice, knew the students at Southeast High School were a special bunch. She just needed to convince some of her fellow Kiwanis Club members. Gurich was instrumental in helping her friend and Southeast teacher Mary Cloos launch a Key Club at the school, which has more than 50 student members.

Denise Hooker-Shepherd, Cleveland Elementary

Denise Hooker-Shepherd was drawn to the family environment at Cleveland Elementary. Now, she's a key guardian of the family. She started and continues to operate the school's multicultural night. She's active in the PTA. She reminds students to mind their manners in the school office, where she's volunteered many hours. She's also served as a substitute in any class as needed.

David Purcer, Eugene Field Elementary

On David Purcer's first visit to Eugene Field Elementary, his purpose was to deliver school supplies. He now sees God had a different plan. After being asked to provide extra help for a music teacher, he ended up as a regular volunteer in a special education classroom. He provides consistency for those students and also helps as needed in the music room.

Katy Leffel, Wilson Arts Integration Elementary

To hear teachers tell it, Katy Leffel is one reason Wilson Arts Integration Elementary is a great place to teach and learn. She organizes school carnivals, field trips, fundraisers, and campus clean-up days. Leffel, a former teacher whose two children attend Wilson, also tutors students who need academic help.

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