Volunteers are awarded for going above and beyond the call of dutyWithout volunteers a town is just not a community BY CHUCK TUCK | JOURNAL REPORTER
“They are a vital part of our community,” Mayor Vern Little said of the dozen or so volunteers who were recognized and honored last week during a ceremony at Lake Stevens High School.
These are just a handful of the volunteers that make up the 1,800 volunteers who contribute to more than 32,000 hours of support annually to the Lake Stevens schools.
It is through their efforts and dedication that students receive a top-notch educational experience.
The stage was set in the Performing Arts Center at the high school last Tuesday, April 22.
Choir bleachers to one side and chairs in the middle were set-up for the jazz band. The drums were center stage while the electric guitar amplifiers lined the back.
School Superintendent David Burgess, Assistant Superintendent Amy Beth Cook, and School Board President Mari Taylor sat to the right of the stage poised and ready to greet and congratulate the recipients for the outstanding volunteers awards. However, this night recognized more than just the volunteers, it was an evening for the community.
A number of students were also recognized for their works of art, each of which were on display at the school.
“Art is yet another language through which our students communicate their thoughts and eelings,” wrote Burgess in the evening program. “I’m proud to recognize and honor their work.”
Also recognized were all of the volunteers who put their time into making up the boundary committee and diligently coming up with new boundaries for the elementary schools.
As the evening got underway, the Highland Elementary Chorus, directed by Liz Plunkett took to the stage. One of the young students, Samantha, read a poem for the audience before the chorus sang. The children’s faces lit the auditorium when they sang a song called “I Am Just One Person.”
When the students finished their singing, Burgess took stage to recognize an individual whose name was not listed in the program for an award that evening.
Burgess recognized Arlene Hulten, Community Relations Director for Lake Stevens School District, for her tireless efforts.
As the night progressed, the Cavelero Jazz Band, directed by Brian Koreski, played a number of tunes featuring several soloists within the band and then the boundary committee was recognized.
Finally, the time came to recognize the individuals who went above and beyond what was called of them to do. These people, some of which volunteered all year at their respective schools, were mothers, fathers and even former teachers who all had one thing in common; they love their community, and believe in providing the highest education to children.
As the principals from each school in Lake Stevens presented their Volunteer of the Year award, a common thread in each of their speeches was, “We couldn’t have done it without them.”
The last person recognized that evening was perhaps awarded the highest honor anyone could have been given that night.
“For years we have had a positive relationship with our police force,” Burgess said.
Chief Randy Celori was awarded with the Partner in Education award by Burgess for his Safe Schools initiatives.
Afterwards at the reception, Little said, “It’s the volunteers that are really the doers.”