Volunteer of the Month
Degrees and Certifications:
Mr. Don Nelson
Volunteers are a much-needed form of support and encouragement for many of our students. The children truly benefit from knowing there are people who care about them and it can’t be emphasized enough that taking the time to volunteer is one of the greatest gifts our volunteers give to the next generation.
Today we are here to celebrate the dedication of one such volunteer. Mr. Don Nelson, the Board of Education is thrilled to honor you as our January 2020 Volunteer of the Month.
Mr. Nelson has been an asset to the AVID program since he first began volunteering at Marley Middle in September 2018. According to AVID Teacher Bethany Siwajek, “Mr. Nelson’s consistent presence in our students’ AVID Tutorials is an essential part of their academic success.” He has a passion for mentoring young students and coaches the students to be the best they can be.
Last school year, Mr. Nelson was part of an AVID encore tutor pilot program focused on recruiting tutors overs 50. The AVID program targeted this group because many have decades of career experience and Mr. Nelsen is no exception. Before becoming an AVID Tutor, Mr. Nelson worked as an assistant to President H.W. Bush. When they traveled together, President Bush would give Mr. Nelson the names and titles of all the people he was going to be meeting with so that thank you notes could be sent out in a quick, timely manner. When the former President passed away, Mr. Nelson mentioned this to the students as a way to reinforce the AVID philosophy of being organized and responsible. He told them if he didn't come prepared, the President would have looked bad. He tied this into instruction by saying if they don't come to the tutorial with their pre-work done ahead of time, it affects the whole group.
Mr. Nelson enjoys being a consistent presence, and steadying influence, in the lives of the students at Marley. He also very much enjoys walking through the hallways and being greeted and recognized by so many students. The administration at Marley is happy to have such a positive influence in the school. Assistant Principal Todd Stanzione shared “I am thrilled that our AVID program is able to count on him for academic support. He is a hard worker and is not intimidated by challenging tasks and he likes to problem-solve.” Principal Kimberly Winterbottom agrees. She shared “We are so grateful for Mr. Nelson’s assistance with our AVID program. I know that he has a wealth of experience to offer our students and I am so glad that he takes time to volunteer here at Marley. He is a very kind, approachable person and his passion for helping our students is evident every day.”
Mr. Nelson, you are a great asset to Marley Middle School and the entire Arundel County Public Schools community, and we thank you for your service as a volunteer and for your dedication to the students at Marley Middle.