TEA News Releases Online
Sept. 20, 2010
SBOE to honor school volunteers at September meeting
AUSTIN - The State Board of Education Friday will honor 15 volunteers from school districts across Texas with the Heroes for Children award.
The board will recognize the hard work and contributions of these 15 school volunteers – one from each SBOE district – in a ceremony in Room 1-104 of the William B. Travis State Office Building at 1701 N. Congress Ave. in Austin. The event will begin at 9 a.m.
The Heroes for Children honorees are selected by the State Board members and recognized for volunteering their time, talents and skills to help improve the public schools in their communities.
Several of these individuals have shared their personal and material resources with public school children for decades. Their service is self-motivated, often by the desire to inspire at-risk students to stay in school or to improve the morale of teachers and staff. Not only do these unsung heroes raise students’ self-esteem, they contribute to the academic success of the children whom they mentor.
Each hero will receive a certificate of honor, a copy of the resolution scheduled for Board approval and photographs commemorating the ceremony. Each hero will also have his or her name engraved on a plaque that is permanently displayed at TEA headquarters.
The State Board of Education meeting will be broadcast live online. A link to the webcast will be posted on the Texas Education Agency homepage at http://www.tea.state.tx.us on the day of meeting and at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=3876.
A description of the contributions each Hero for Children has made to Texas school children appears below.
Sarah Ramos, SBOE District 1. Ramos is a volunteer at J.C. Martin Elementary School in the Laredo Independent School District. Ramos, who volunteers about 120 hours a month, works with the school’s Language Proficiency Advisory Committee, is a representative for the Student Health Advisory Committee, the Student Handbook Revision Committee, the Parent Advisory Committee, serves as the Parent-Teacher Council President, and is a parental advisor for Serving Children and Adolescents in Need (SCAN). Plus, she serves as homeroom mom and assists by providing decorations for classroom activities.
Lydia Gomez, SBOE District 2. Gomez is a volunteer at Los Encinos Special Emphasis School in the Corpus Christi ISD. Gomez helps organize school functions such as author’s teas, talent shows, family nights, field day, book fairs, award ceremonies, field trips and other campus functions. She rolls up her sleeves to sew, make games, laminate materials, run errands, decorate, does cafeteria duty, and has dedicated her life to volunteering.
Roland A. Champagne, SBOE District 3. Champagne, a volunteer at Cambridge Elementary School in the Alamo Heights ISD, has been a volunteer for 10 years and his main goal is to assist in the education of at-risk children. He does this by connecting with each student, finds their true interests and helps them develop confidence as writers. He shares his enthusiasm for books, artifacts, newspapers and magazine articles, using these to motivate children to excel. He has worked with many teachers and mentored many students during his tenure at Cambridge.
Caronetta Jones, SBOE District 4. Jones has been a volunteer in the Houston ISD for more than 30 years. In 2010, she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the district for her advocacy and dedication to education. Jones has served as president of the HISD Council of PTAs. She actively collaborates with school staff on ways to increase parental involvement and promotes school improvements in partnership with the PTA.
Charlie Kimmey, SBOE District 5. Kimmey, a volunteer with the Temple ISD, has dedicated himself to improving the lives of children. He often goes above and beyond his role as executive director for the Ralph Wilson Youth Clubs of Temple. Kimmey operates various programs through the club, including a Boys Club, Girls Club, afterschool program, summer program and sports program. He is also an active member of the Temple ISD Wildcat Mentor Board and has donated his time and facilities to host and feed more than 75 student mentees with their mentors for Wildcat Mentor Program activities.
Christine Mycio-Spring, SBOE District 6. Spring is currently a volunteer at Benfer Elementary School in Klein ISD. She previously was a volunteer at Epps Island Elementary where she was an active member of the school’s PTO and was the parliamentarian/historian. She was recently named a “Klein Friend of Freedom” for outstanding volunteer service and student advocacy. Spring works with small groups of young students every day who need assistance with reading skills. She helps with and coordinates the school’s celebrations, field days and student and teacher appreciation events.
Felipe Santiago Flores, SBOE District 7. Every day, just after the last bell rings, Flores can be found in front of Edison Middle School in Port Arthur ISD, wearing a bright orange safety vest and assisting the students as a traffic control volunteer. He directs traffic as parents pick up their children and he helps monitor the students waiting for their parents. His tireless volunteer service helps keep the students safe and also gives them a positive interaction with a caring adult at the end of each school day. His passion and generosity led the school personnel to name Flores Volunteer of the Year for 2010.
Martha Garrett, SBOE District 8. Garrett is a volunteer at Texas High School in the Texarkana ISD. Garrett serves as the 2009-10 Texas High School VIPS College Resource Center Coordinator. She helps students coordinate with their advisors to determine required testing and courses and to secure financial aid. Garrett also works with students in the THS College Resource Center helping them define their goals and explore college choices. She coordinates KUDER career testing and organizes the teacher appreciations for the campus.
Adriana Flores, SBOE District 9. Flores serves as a member of the AVID Site Team, where she provides insight to campus educators on how best to serve students and the Hispanic community. Flores is described as vital to the Parent Nights program at the Corsicana High School, where she spearheads bilingual efforts to reach out to the parents of Hispanic students. She also works to translate documents previously only available in English. Because of Flores’ work, parents have easy access to information about college applications, the SAT and ACT tests, the FAFSA, the Texas Grant, scholarships and college readiness.
George Wagner, SBOE District 10. Wagner has been a volunteer in the Georgetown ISD since 1997. Wagner mentors on average three to five children a year; spending about four years with each child. He also is a volunteer at the Boys & Girls Club and the Head Start Center. Wagner is a member of the Georgetown Partners in Education, serving as a board member for six years and recruiting and training hundreds of new mentors and tutors throughout the community.
Marcia Garcia, SBOE District 11. Garcia, a volunteer in the Springtown ISD, is actively involved in many education-related organizations such as the PTO, the Springtown Educational Foundation, Athletic Booster Club, concession stand committee and the bond planning committee. She has also been instrumental in the development and organization of the Springtown ISD Spirit Shop, which brings in revenue for the benefit of school-related organizations. She strives to continually promote educational opportunities for all students.
Clarence Saunders, SBOE District 12. Saunders, a volunteer in the Irving ISD works with and mentors students on both elementary and high school campuses. He challenges students to be the absolute best they can be. During these mentoring sessions he has personally organized a curriculum that addresses such character issues as integrity, honesty, trustworthiness, fairness, a strong work ethic and a sense of personal responsibility. Saunders also is a member of the Parent Advisory Council for MacArthur High School in Irving ISD and participates in the student intern training experience program for Jack E. Singley Academy in Irving.
Nannett Vick, SBOE District 13. Vick has been a volunteer in Lancaster ISD for more than 35 years. She has served as a PTA member at the local, district and state levels, and has been on numerous LISD committees such as the LISD Strategic Planning, Budget, Campus Advisory and Bond Committee as well as the Lancaster Education Foundation Board of Directors. She is currently completing a two-year term as president of the Pleasant Run Elementary School PTA, which she began 35 years ago.
Mary Henderson, SBOE District 14. Henderson is a volunteer at Nettie Baccus Elementary School in Granbury ISD. She works in the school’s graphics lab making copies, binding books, cutting out projects, laminating and much more. She organized and coordinates the Baccus Country Store. The store sells items to students who use Baccus Bucks that they earn for good citizenship and behavior. Henderson is a volunteer who works year-round. She often spends her summers collecting items for classroom use in the coming school year.
Margaret Talkington, SBOE District 15. Talkington has been a mentor, friend and catalyst for success for countless children and young adults in Lubbock. For 35 years, this education advocate has sponsored a local style show to raise money for scholarships for young women. Well into her nineties, Talkington still provides financial support and volunteers as an inspirational speaker at the girls school that bears her name: The Margaret Talkington School for Young Women Leaders in Lubbock ISD.