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FDCSD volunteers recognized

Top volunteer from each school receives award

May 21, 2012
By BRANDON L. SUMMERS - Messenger staff writer , Messenger News

Fort Dodge Community School District principals and staff presented Volunteer of the Year awards to those who have made a difference in the district's schools Monday, at the regular meeting of the FDCSD board.

Each recipient was presented to the board, and given an honorary certificate.

Jennifer Cordle, Feelhaver Elementary teacher, presented a Volunteer of the Year award to Feelhaver Booster Club board member Tara Smith.

"She has been an important part of the fundraising effort during her time on the board, and has helped the booster club to raise over $20,000 to purchase new playground equipment at Feelhaver," Cordle said. "When it was time to install the equipment, she was the only non-male volunteer to assist in the construction."

Andrea Pavik, Riverside Elementary teacher, presented a Volunteer of the Year award to her mother, Carol Sieben. Sieben has been a volunteer at the school's early learning center for several years, assisting students in all areas of study. She also plants flowers at the school, and maintains them.

Butler Elementary Principal Mike Woodall presented Volunteer of the Year awards to Butler Booster Club members Heather Farrell and Brandy Mills. According to Woodall, the two were instrumental in helping the school to raise more than $100,000 over the past few years alone.

"They've always been positive," he said. "They look to improve Butler School in any way possible. There are many days where they put in many long hours, and I do wish to thank them."

Pat Reding, Duncombe Elementary principal, honored Krista Leigh as Volunteer of the Year, though Leigh was unable to be present Monday. Leigh has served as a Duncombe Booster for 10 years, with this year being her last, Reding said.

Many years ago, Reding said, the Booster Club made the decision not to have students solicit funds from the community. Taking the responsibility on themselves instead, the Booster Club holds a Fun Night event yearly.

"The number of people who are on the Booster Club at Duncombe is not real large, but their efforts are mighty indeed," he said. "They do so much work for our young people and for our teachers. It's incredible."

Marlene Johnson, Cooper Elementary principal, presented Volunteer of the Year awards to Juli Springer and Amy Rosalez. Both volunteer their time at the school and add to the school's learning environment, Johnson said.

"They've done a lot of things," she said. "They've implemented some different changes, and added things like movie night and Pumpkinfest. It's just been really rewarding for the parents to be able to bring their kids and have activities at the school."

Johnson honored the two further by reading a poem in gratitude for their efforts.

Donita Getting, Fair Oaks Middle School instructor, presented a Volunteer of the Year award to Joelyn Johnson. Johnson, an officer with the Fort Dodge Police Department, has been volunteering her time to hold an Internet safety class at the school for the past several years.

Fort Dodge Senior High Principal Dave Keane first honored Randy Puls and Laurel Puls with Volunteer of the Year awards for their efforts as activity booster club members. He then presented Volunteer of the Year awards to Steve Springer, Mike Rustvold and Tom O'Leary, all of whom are athletic booster club members.

Last, Lis Ristau, director of special needs, honored Liz Rusher, Lee DeCicco, Lana Rusher and Lynn Rusher, all of whom are the district's Special Olympics coordinators.

"What caliber of folks you have before you," Ristau said. "These individuals operate, coordinate all Special Olympics. They do it endlessly, lots of hours. They are just exceptional folks. Thank you for all you do for our kids."

All of the honorees were applauded, and thanked by the school board for their efforts in improving the district.

Contact Brandon L. Summers at (515) 573-2141 or



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