During this school year, over 18,000 school volunteers dedicated their time and talents to benefit our AACPS students. Usually volunteers work in a particular niche, matching their unique knowledge and skill set to meet a particular school need. However, June’s Volunteer of the Month awardee must be a specialist in human relations and marketing, event planning, STEM program promotion, motivational speaker, and parking lot design.
Board of Education is proud to honor this multi-talented Volunteer of the Month, Mrs. Kathy Hayes, for her unwavering dedication to enrich students’ school experiences, support teachers and enhance the school environment of Ridgeway Elementary School.
For over ten years, Kathy has accepted countless opportunities to refine her wide-ranging skills. She’s held numerous PTA board positions, including president, and has served as coordinator of Ridgeway’s volunteer program, Teacher Appreciation Week, Parent Information Nights, and many more. Kathy consistently inspires others to volunteer and keeps them engaged by optimizing their skills and routinely showing appreciation for their contributions. Fellow PTA board member, Amy Eckloff, writes, “Kathy embodies an outstanding spirit of volunteerism and inclusion in everything she coordinates.”
The most impressive example is Kathy’s willingness to serve, for ten years, now, as Science Fair Coordinator. Months before each year’s event, Kathy plans with teachers, gathers volunteers and recruits judges from local businesses. She helps teachers inspire over 100 enthusiastic students to participate in this yearly STEM highlight. Over the following weeks, Kathy lends support to students as they research, form questions, experiment, draw conclusions, and finally create their project displays. Kathy ensures all projects are thoughtfully exhibited and helps to organize class visits and the evening Science Fair open-house. Finally, Kathy spearheads a school-wide Science Fair Awards Assembly, to honor each participant’s extra-curricular effort. Principal Lisa Koennel observes, “It’s clear that Mrs. Hayes has a direct impact on the students and staff at Ridgeway Elementary through her dedication to our annual Science Fair event.”
Recently, Mrs. Hayes turned her attention to an eroded grassy area used for years as Ridgeway’s “additional” parking. Now, thanks to Kathy’s tireless efforts, Ridgeway Elementary is on the county’s parking lot upgrade list and a temporary fix of gravel is in place. “This is over and above,” writes Amy Eckloff, “and shows her dedication to our school and community.”
Mrs. Hayes, thank you for devoting these years of exemplary volunteer work to benefit the students, staff and families of Ridgeway Elementary School. Would you please come forward? With great appreciation, I would like to present this Volunteer of the Month Certificate and Bell to you.