Lenny Burton, Tyler Heights Elementary School
Audrey Hepburn once said, “As you grow older you will discover that you have two hands. One for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” Many of our Anne Arundel County school volunteers are retired citizens who know and live this adage by dedicating themselves to our students.
The Board of Education is proud to honor one such exceptional volunteer, Mr. Lenny Burton, as November’s Volunteer of the Month.
Lenny Burton loves the students of Tyler Heights Elementary, and they love their “Mr. Lenny.” Almost every school day, Lenny brings his lifetime of knowledge, skills, interests, and cheerful encouragement to serve the Tyler Heights students and their families.
The Tyler Heights yearbook is full of Lenny’s photos that capture precious memories for the entire school community. He works closely with the yearbook staff to gather, download and edit hundreds of photos. With his camera always nearby, Lenny also assists throughout the school day, both in classrooms and beyond. He works one-on-one with students to strengthen their reading and reading comprehension skills, and mentors individuals who need extra attention, guidance and encouragement.
Lenny heads Tyler Heights’ successful Backpack Buddy program in loving memory of his friend Brenda Schoener’s legacy of service. He and his team of committed volunteers ensure that more than seventy children take home nourishing snacks each weekend. Each week, he and his team of dedicated volunteers provide backpacks full of nourishing snacks to help over seventy families in need. In addition, the Backpack Buddies provide them with coats in the fall, handmade toys for the holidays, and warm winter blankets.
Principal Julia Walsh writes, “He provides consistency that our families need and has developed positive and long-lasting relationships with our staff and students. Our school is a better place because of Mr. Burton’s exemplary commitment to volunteer.”
According to Kathy Metzger, the school’s former Volunteer Coordinator, “Lenny has an amazing heart for our Tyler Heights students. I am grateful to know him and witness his selfless service to our school. If I could clone him, I would. We need more volunteers like Lenny.”
Classroom teacher, Lindsey James sums it up: “Mr. Burton helps struggling students, goes on field trips, joins in special celebrations and always smiles. He is determined to make all students feel safe, loved, and nourished. Our students are so fortunate to have such a wonderful role model!”