West Side News

PTAs present annual Helping Hands awards

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The South-Western City Schools Council of PTAs presented its annual Helping Hands awards Feb. 25 to 35 recipients who have gone above and beyond in their service to the district and its students.

"The honorees can be school staff, parents, volunteers, even students," said Terry Hickey, Council of PTAs president.

Each school's PTA selects a person actively involved with that local PTA unit, Hickey said.

"These are people who truly advocate for our students," he said.

PTAs use assorted methods to choose their award recipients, Hickey said.

Some may open nominations and the award selection to a vote throughout the school, including students, while other selections are made by the PTA's officers, he said.

The 2014 recipients at the elementary school level included Tobi Stout, Alton Hall; Michele Paduchik, Buckeye Woods; Jackie Burns, Darby Woods; Mindy McDaniel, Darbydale; Denise Diaz, East Franklin; Nancy Phillips, Finland; George Buck, Harmon; Cyndi Alt, Highland Park; and Patty Ruby, Monterey.

Other elementary school honorees were Erin Disbrow, North Franklin; Robin Bruno, Prairie Lincoln; Tamara Wolfe, Prairie Norton; Terry Ellis, Richard Avenue; Cherie Estep, J C Sommer; Ramin Hashem and Ashley Tryban, Stiles; Lesley Storts, West Franklin; and Cathy Harless, SWCS Pre-School.

Intermediate school recipients were Matt McCloskey, Franklin Woods; Bonny Marcum, Galloway Ridge; Tammi Stoll, Hayes; Marcy Sink, Holt Crossing; and Amy Rinehart, Park Street.

Middle school honorees were Renae Stevenson, Brookpark; Randy Shirtzinger, Finland; Shelby Wolfe, Jackson; Jim Brooks, Norton; and Nikki Snell, Pleasant View.

The recipients selected by high school PTAs were Patty Roose, Central Crossing; Nicole Nolen, Franklin Heights; Randy and Kelly Reisling, Grove City; Karen Thomas, South-Western Career Academy and Janie Grim, Westland.

The Helping Hands ceremony is held each year in February in part to observe the national PTA Founders Day celebration, Hickey said.

During the ceremony, the recommendation each PTA has written is read as the honorees receive their award, he said.

One example is the recommendation for Roose, who is building secretary at Central Crossing High School.

The PTA's recommendation noted that while many things have changed at Central Crossing since it opened in 2002, Roose, "has been there through it all.

"Patty interacts with students, staff and families on a daily basis and takes it all in stride," the recommendation reads. "In addition to her daily duties, Patty assists with the OGT test accountability and still finds time to help out with prom and other extracurricular activities."

The Council of PTAs presented its own Helping Hands award to scholarship chairwoman Melanie Warner, who will be leaving her post at the end of the school year.

The council's recommendation praised Warner for "her dedication, professionalism and her deep passion for the ideals that PTA tries to instill in all members" and states that she "represents our council, schools and community with the highest regard for the welfare of our children."

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