The South-Western City Schools Council of PTAs presented its annual Helping Hands awards Feb. 26 to 32 school aides, classified staff members and volunteers who have gone above and beyond in their service to the district and its students.
Each member unit selected a person actively involved with their local PTA unit, said Suzie Smith-Rios, Council of PTAs president.
"This is a way to recognize those people who really make a difference and have an impact on our students," Smith-Rios said.
"As (Superintendent Bill Wise) said at the ceremony, these are really the people who help make our schools operate as smoothly as they do," said Tami Seibert, chairwoman of this year's awards.
"Our schools couldn't run as well as they do without our aides and our volunteers," she said.
The 2013 recipients at the high school level were Debi Campbell, Central Crossing; Amanda Goodman, Franklin Heights; Mariellen Sarver, Grove City; Delee Hamilton, Westland and Henry Franchini, South-Western Career Academy.
At the middle schools, the honorees were Earl Groves, Brookpark; Sandy Custer, Finland; Amy Blankenship, Jackson; Camille Peterson, Norton and Mary Wendel, Pleasant View.
The recipients selected by the intermediate school PTAs were Theresa Meyer, Franklin Woods; Mark Collins, Galloway Ridge; Daphne Schall, Hayes Intermediate; Bill Harrison, Holt Crossing and Karen McCullough, Park Street.
Elementary school honorees included Jennifer Miller, Alton Hall; Jane Smock, Buckeye Woods; Michele Frump, Darbydale; Peggy Alexander, Darby Woods; Angie Crego, East Franklin; Debbie Christy, Finland; Dena Berry, Harmon and Judy Osborne, Highland Park.
Other elementary school recipients included Sue Zeszotek, Monterey; Kelly Corwin, North Franklin; Patricia Carmany, Prairie Lincoln; TerriJo Halter, Prairie Norton; Linda Cultice, Richland Avenue; Suzie Brace, J.C. Sommer; Chelle Konst, Stiles and Kendra Conover, West Franklin.
The preschool PTA selected Sharon Quigley and the council of PTAs' recipient was Sue Zeszotek.
"Sue is an aide at Monterey and she also gives a lot of her time to the council of PTAs," Seibert said. "She is a great example of someone who really goes above and beyond the call of duty."
Twelve parent volunteers were honored this year, she said. Helping Hands awards were also presented to seven aides, six secretaries, four custodians, two medicine monitors, a crossing guard and a cook.
"The parent volunteers are usually very involved with the PTA at their individual schools, holding officer positions and chairing events at their schools," Seibert said. "Sometimes (they're involved) at more than one school, if they have kids at different age levels."
Staff members are usually "a big part of the PTA program as well," she said.
PTAs use assorted methods to choose their award recipients, Smith-Rios said.
"Some open it up to a vote throughout the school, including students, and others are voted on by the PTA's officers," she said.