WFISD PIE honors partners, volunteers at 32nd banquet

WFISD PIE honors partners, volunteers at 32nd banquet

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - Volunteers, mentors and partners with the Wichita Falls ISD are not normally in the spotlight. But on Tuesday night, all they do behind the scenes was celebrated.

The 32nd annual Partners in Education reception thanked its partners who were all nominated by each school they serve in. 12 awards were handed out this year in a broad range of categories.

Shelia Verret won Mentor of the Year. She logs nearly 200 volunteer hours a month at Milam Elementary and is such a hard worker that often times the staff forgets that she is a volunteer.

Verret talked about why she volunteers.

“Because I love what I do,” said Verret. “I love those kids. I get paid in hugs I don’t know if you know that are not. I called and asked do you except payments in hugs but they told me no.”

The Campus Coordinator of the Year went to Maurice Jordan, who goes above and beyond to make sure students most in need of a role model are partnered with someone from the community.

Last year alone had over 100 students paired with a mentor because of his efforts.

“I do my job for the children, for the babies at Booker T. Washington, it’s just me doing my job without my PIE partners and principal and staff,” said Jordan. “I mean, this is our award as a team, we are the dream team and we bring home the trophies. It’s awesome.”

All of the winners can be found below:

Partner of the Year – A partner who achieves goals through exemplary, well-balanced participation involving volunteers, funding, in-kind services, etc.

United Regional Hospital (Career Education Center)

  • Provided lunches for the staff
  • Filled teacher wish lists, regardless of the request
  • Has played a supportive role to the campus by being willing, able, passionate, flexible, imaginative, and easy to work with

Program of the Year – A program that displays the highest degree of teamwork, resource utilization and results

PETS Clinic (Career Education Center)

  • A vital partner for the WFISD Veterinary Science program since 2013
  • Allows students to intern at their clinic to gain clinical hours that apply towards the students Certified Veterinary Assistant (CVA) license
  • After receiving their CVA license, the students have also been offered jobs to work at PETS
  • Continued to open their doors to intern students during COVID
  • Students receive hands on experience with helping in exam rooms, surgery, and post-surgical care

Organization of the Year – An organization that reflects an outstanding commitment to Partners In Education

Rotary Southwest (Fain Elementary)

  • Has supported Fain’s mission to create a Makerspace, Dexter Lab and to extend the Learning Common Area to an outdoor space
  • Annual donations ranging from $1000-$2000
  • Hosted their club meeting at Fain to allow students t learn success skills by presenting their ideas to them and showcasing the vision they have created
  • Members have offered support from donating old electronics to their STEAM Club to dismember to offering tours of their businesses

Extra Mile Award – A partner who goes beyond the expectations of the adopted school and PIE

Ronnie William (Kirby Middle School)

  • Recognizes needs without having to be told, and fills them without being asked
  • Has a caring heart that shines in all that he does
  • Each year he contributes clothes to kids in need
  • Rewards students with pizza parties for academic achievements
  • Donated coats to ensure students were warm during the bitter months
  • Sponsors a Young Men’s Club for sixth grade boys to help ease the transition from elementary to middle school

Staff Appreciation Award – A partner whose special project(s) best support school staff

Rockstar Nails & Spa (West Foundation Elementary)

  • They make a donation of $2000 each year for student and teacher needs
  • Their contributions have provided small houses in the form of pods to create fun learning environments
  • Their monetary donations continue enhancing student learning at West Foundation Elementary

Rookie of the Year – First-year partner whose participation goes far beyond the boundaries of a new partner

The Bell Family (Kirby Middle School)

  • They have donated shirts and ties to the Young Men’s Club were Andrew Bell also serves as a mentor
  • Make frequent donations of clothes to the school’s CIS clothes closet
  • Often facilitates connections with members of the community that lead to additional donations or opportunities for Kirby students
  • Coordinated efforts to get meals at Texas Roadhouse and tickets to a MSU basketball game donated for the Young Men’s Group
  • Gives countless hours mentoring and delivering in kind services along with extensive support through donations and giving

Mentor of the Year – A mentor whose volunteer efforts best exemplify the purpose of mentoring

Shelia Verret (Milam Elementary)

  • She logs 145-200 hours a month in volunteer hours
  • Works daily, reading with kindergarten students
  • She works diligently to ensure that kindergarten students can read when they leave in May
  • Offers to help out when Milam is in need of parent involvement activities or other extra events at school
  • Runs copies for the kindergarten team
  • Provides lunch
  • Always asking how she can help
  • She is such a hard worker that often times the staff forgets that she is a volunteer

Volunteer of the Year – An individual whose generous gifts of time contribute to student success

Mirela Miclaus (Sheppard Elementary)

  • Has been volunteering at Sheppard Elementary since her arrival from Romania in 2020
  • Volunteers countless hours five days a week
  • Works countless hours in the workroom cutting, laminating, and making copies for teachers
  • Spends time reading one-on-one with students in the hallway, helping in the music/art classroom, assisting the campus secretary, and even greeting students as they arrive in the mornings
  • Staff members will find Mirela walking around the school ready to help with a friendly smile and “Hello, how are you doing” attitude

Mentor Program of the Year – A group mentor program that best exemplifies the purpose of mentoring

Wichita Falls High School PALS (Zundy Elementary School)

  • Award winner in 2013, 2015 and 2020 but has continued to step up their game
  • In a year that many high school students would consider disappointing, the WFHS PALS have gone above and beyond to develop meaningful relationships with their palees
  • Helped a disabled student, who is bound to a wheelchair, thrive in PE class by encouraging the PE coach to obtain smaller, tacky, textured football that are easier for the student to catch and throw
  • Helped a troubled young girl who would often find herself fighting with other girls learn the skills needed to effectively work through conflicts with peers and practice self-love and self-respect
  • One PAL student helped a very troubled boy learn to respectfully communicate with his teachers when he is upset. He did this by modeling the desired behavior, going with the student to make necessary apologies, and set goals to improve. As a result, the student’s conduct and grades have improved
  • Completed multiple service projects and supply drives for Faith Mission, the Humane Society, the WFHS Life class, Zundy Valentine’s Day parties and much more

Special Recognition Award – A partner (business, group, or individual) whose creative efforts for the student and staff are unwavering and that warrants special recognition

Red Lobster (Zundy Elementary School)

  • Without fail, Mr. Taylor the General Manager, is always willing to answer the call when it comes to Larmar’s needs
  • Provides gift cards for staff members for their birthdays
  • During COVID, the restaurant was forced to close their doors for several weeks, but Mr. Taylor and his team didn’t let that stop them
  • Hosted a Dine to Donate event to raise funds for Lamar and several other schools
  • Donated meals for other district events

Shining Star Award – A partner (business, group, or individual) whose creative efforts for children consistently improve children’s lives in amazing ways

Colonel Joshua Demotts (Sheppard Elementary)

  • Had electricity installed to the campuses outdoor pavilion with lights
  • Donated 25 gallons of hand sanitizer
  • Supplied Airmen In Training to help prepare the campus for the opening of the school year
  • Checks in every two weeks to make sure the campus is doing fine and doesn’t need anything
  • Went above and beyond to assist the campus when they lost their librarian to COVID
  • This Commander has not only led at Sheppard with his professional expertise, but he has led with his heart as well
  • He has served his country, our community and Sheppard Elementary extraordinarily
  • Has fully embraced and demonstrated the SAFB Mott, “We are Stronger Together”

Campus Coordinator of the Year – A campus coordinator who boldly perpetuates the mission of PIE and goes beyond the expectations of a campus coordinator

Maurice Jordan (Booker T. Washington Elementary)

  • Third-year PIE Coordinator and Read 2 Learn Coordinator at Booker T. Washington Elementary
  • Goes out of his way to ensure students who are most in need of a role model are partnered with someone from the community
  • Due to COVID restrictions on campus, volunteering and mentoring have been limited; however, Maurice has continued to communicate with his mentors in an effort to have an even better mentoring program next school year
  • Played an instrumental role in working with members from Sheppard Air Force Base to provide food for the annual food boxes
  • Participated in the African American Panel at Sheppard Air Force Base highlighting the need for inclusion and diversity in our community
  • Last year alone, Booker T. Washington had over 100 students with a mentor because of Maurice’s efforts

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