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WFISD highlights community members, programs at PIE banquet

Published: May. 3, 2022 at 10:29 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - They are true champions of the Wichita Falls ISD and the spotlight Tuesday was on those who work hard behind the scenes at the 33rd annual Partners in Education banquet.

Businesses, organizations and even individuals were honored. In all, 14 awards were given out to those who give their time or money to champion kids, teachers and schools in the district.

One of those went to Technical Sgt. Brandon Daniel for all of the time he pours into Booker T. Washington. The Sheppard Air Force Base training instructor brought mentors to the campus, coordinated an field trip that gave students the opportunity to consider career fields within the military, and raised more than $7,000 to fill food boxes that went home with kids before Christmas break.

Those are just a few of the reasons he was named the Volunteer of the Year.

“That’s how my parents raised me,” Daniel said. “I have my father and my mother to look up to, also made a promise to my Master Sgt. Aaron Bolden, he told me to take care of the score before he left so I had to keep that promise. You guys do so much to support us and it’s my time to support you all. Kids embrace me, my heart melts every time I see him smile so that’s what I do it for.”

Partner of the Year went to Western Hills Baptist Church. They were nominated by McNiel Middle School for how they go above and beyond to help fill any need that comes up.

Including staffing, spinal screenings, vision and hearing tests, providing school supplies, treats for staff and notes of encouragement.

Also for starting a program called Impact to teach citizenship and soft skills.

“It’s just going around telling kids you love them and seeing oh they’re not talking to anybody, why aren’t you, are you shy or maybe you’re depressed, maybe you have at home like what’s going on there,” Garrett Smith, youth and music director at Western Hills Baptist Church. “Church is great but those are all the things you got to do outside the doors of the church.”

That’s just two of again 14 well deserved awards that were handed out Tuesday night.

Here’s the complete list of all of those honored:

Program of the Year – A program that displays the highest degree of teamwork, resource utilization and results - Coats for Kids – Zundy (1998)

  • First Christian Church provides thousands of winter coats for WFISD children
  • Delivers more than 100 full Thanksgiving meals to WFISD families
  • Zundy families received 140 coats and 40 Thanksgiving meals

Organization of the Year - An organization that reflects an outstanding commitment to Partners in Education - Wichita Falls Kiwanis Club – Scotland Park (1989)

  • Rewards kindness and compassion by buying 35 Sonic drinks weekly for students demonstrating kindness
  • Distributes monthly Kool Kid awards for students showing kindness, awarding balloons, certificates, $50 gift cards and yard signs

Extra Mile Award – A partner who goes beyond the expectations of the adopted school and PIE - Disabled American Veterans Ch. 41 – Booker T. (2022)

  • Gifted 275 students with backpacks filled with hygiene essentials and toys
  • Gifted pre-K students with new bicycles and helmets

Staff Appreciation Award – A partner whose special projects best support school staff - Texas Gymnastics Academy – Fowler (2019)

  • Provides staff treats for lunches and staff meetings
  • Provided a holiday meal when another partner was unable to do so
  • Brings positive energy to campus to encourage faculty and staff

Rookie of the Year – First-year partner whose participation goes far beyond the boundaries of a new partner - El Norteno - West Foundation (2021)

  • Provides meals for staff members
  • Donates lunches, breakfast burritos, and gift cards for staff

Mentor Program of the Year – A mentor whose volunteer efforts best exemplify the purpose of mentoring - Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) – Kirby (2021)

  • Male volunteers serve Kirby students
  • Michael Scott visits Kirby daily to befriend and teach students, helping improve student behavior and buy-in

Shining Star Award – A partner (business, group or individual) whose creative efforts for children consistently improve children’s lives in amazing ways - Amy Fagan – Sheppard (2018)

  • Amy Fagan and her family donate thousands of dollars each year in cleaning supplies for Sheppard classrooms
  • As Wichita Falls Public Health Assistant Director, she volunteers help to the campus
  • She delivered gifts to teachers and the principal during Virtual Learning during the pandemic
  • She delivered Crumbl Cookies to the Teachers’ Lounge
  • She provided 10 pairs of shoes for students, along with hundreds of dollars in Kleenex, Clorox wipes and paper towels for classrooms

Campus Coordinator of the Year –A campus coordinator who boldly perpetuates the mission of PIE and goes beyond the expectations of a campus coordinator- Madeline Eubanks – Zundy Elementary

  • Coordinates Read 2 Learn program at Zundy
  • Organizes volunteers, communicates with them, and recruits large numbers of them

Female Mentor of the Year – A female mentor whose volunteer efforts best exemplify the purpose of mentoring - Lois Willis – Booker T. (2021)

  • “Grammy Lois” assists with Read 2 Learn program
  • She logged more than 90 volunteer hours this year

Male Mentor of the Year – A male mentor whose volunteer efforts best exemplify the purpose of mentoring - Thomas Yoder – Haynes (2015)

  • He was the first volunteer for the Haynes Read 2 Learn program
  • He purchased books and dedicated more than the typical amount of time to reading with students
  • He tracks students’ classroom progress is reading
  • He tripled the number of students he reads with

Business of the Year - A business that reflects outstanding commitment to a WFISD school - Bundy Young Sims & Potter – West Foundation (1997)

  • This business helps fulfill staff needs requested each year
  • This business provided headphones and classroom supplies
  • They donated seven $25 gift cards for 4 Days of Christmas program

PTO of the Year – A new award honoring a parent-teacher type organization (PTA, PTO or PVO) that goes above and beyond in its outreach to parents and students - Sheppard PVO

  • PVO President Ashley Cash and her team support staff and students with monthly teacher luncheons
  • She distributes Teacher Favorite lists to parents to assist them in supplying teachers with their wish lists
  • She supplied bottled water, face masks and cleaning products to classrooms during the pandemic
  • She furnished an Espresso machine and ice maker for the Teachers’ Lounge

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