Humble ISD is celebrating more than 8,700 volunteers who spent their time helping the 42 campuses in the district this school year, and one volunteer (except in two cases) from each campus was nominated by that school’s principal as a Volunteer of the Year.

They have done an extraordinary job in spite of the difficult circumstances that Humble ISD as a whole has experienced.

The total number of volunteer hours for the period of Aug. 1, 2019-March 6, 2020 was a jaw-dropping 391,780 hours. The busiest time of the year for volunteering is usually the last two-and-a-half months of school, but numbers are not available for that period due to physical closures of schools, said Marilyn Mann, a community engagement specialist with the district.

Mann reported that, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the value of a volunteer's time is worth $25.43 per hour, with Humble ISD volunteers contributing close to a very impressive $10 million at $9,962,965 in donated labor over a period of a little over seven months. 

The Community Development Department recognized the 44 volunteers Tuesday, April 21, by delivering their Be the Light certificates and words of appreciation from their principals, a #Be the Light poster for their door, window, house or wall, and a bundlet from Nothing Bundt Cakes. The department had originally planned to have the annual Volunteer Recognition Luncheon April 28 at the Humble Civic Center but it was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mann said, “The volunteers in Humble ISD are wonderful. Every volunteer gives anywhere from seven to 800 hours. The volunteer hours include working concession stands, shelving books, making copies, laminating, die cutting, organizing events, mentoring, reading to students, making backdrops for music programs, sorting math and reading booklets, and anything the teachers and staff can dream of for their schools.”

She continued, “These volunteers were rewarded based on receiving words of appreciation that principals submitted about [them when nominating someone] for Volunteer of the Year. We send the principals a form to complete and ask them to recognize the one volunteer, mentor or community partner that has made a significant, positive difference at their school.”

Elementary schools and their Volunteers of the Year: Atascocita Springs-Lisa Pool, Bear Branch-Roy Lively, Deerwood-Lynn McGinn, Eagle Springs-Kristen Rodriguez, Fall Creek-Nicole Scott, Foster-Holley Burns, Humble-Liz Clark, Greentree-Leslie Shoemaker, Groves-Anthony Wright, Hidden Hollow-Simona McKinney, Jack Fields, Sr.-Pamela Vega, Lakeland-Jim and Sally DeMasi, Lakeshore-Elizabeth Diaz, Maplebrook-Veronica McCullough, North Belt-Lisa Moya, Oak Forest-Ivonne Gonzalez, Oaks-Julie Lemerond, Park Lakes-Tommy Campbell, Pine Forest-Starla Bridges, Ridge Creek-Montine Keep, River Pines-Joanna Ramos, Shadow Forest-Melissa Six, Timbers-Kourtney Otero, Whispering Pines-Aleasha Brown, Willow Creek-Karolyn Rosello, and Woodland Hills-Kait Burns.

Middle schools: Atascocita-Kara Brittain, Creekwood-Laura Novak, Humble-Jennifer Karlstrom, Kingwood-Lisa Maddux, Riverwood-Jennifer Garrow, Ross Sterling-Laura Clarke, Timberwood-April Cain, West Lake-Jennifer Morin and Jen Sitton, and Woodcreek-Tanya Smith.

High Schools: Atascocita-Toni Rock, Humble-Delois “Dee Dee” Wiley, Kingwood-Ann Crane, Kingwood Park-Julia Bynes, Quest Early College-Jennifer Tusa, and Summer Creek High School-Stephani Cherry.

I am so honored that I was chosen for this award. I have been volunteering for the PTA for many years but I don’t do it for the recognition,” Rock said. “I do it for the students, the teachers and my grandchildren that attend the schools in our area. Our success isn’t attributed to just one person. We have a great team on our PTA and the teachers and faculty at AHS have been very supportive. I am so proud to work with such a great group of people.” 

Said Crane, “This recognition was such a wonderful surprise. I miss being at Kingwood High School around the other fantastic volunteers, the dedicated staff, and amazing students. Volunteering for Humble ISD brings me a great sense of joy and personal fulfillment.” 

Community Learning Center-DAEP: Ron Fovargue.

Among those recognized, several go above and beyond by leading other volunteers as they are serving as president of their respective PTAs or PTOs. These leaders are McGinn, Parrish, Scott, Diaz, McCullough, Bridges, Coulter, Otero, Brown, Burns, Garrow and Sitton.

Brown said, “First, I want to say thank you to Mrs. Anaya, WPE teachers and staff. I love y’all …I mean it. I am honored to be recognized as Volunteer of the Year for Humble ISD.  I do feel I get recognized by all of the students when I walk down the hallway and they run and give me hugs, draw me pictures, and show me their work. My goal is to make them smile, so my partner-in-crime April and I surprise classes and do dance battles and impromptu karaoke.”

The other Volunteers of the Year are mentors, library volunteers, workroom coordinators, front-desk volunteers, car-duty volunteers, College Rooms volunteers, hospitality chairs, and Fall or Spring Carnival chairs, according to McMann. Mentors that were recognized were Lively, Keep and Fovargue as well as husband-and-wife team, the DeMasis. Wright, a parent at Groves Elementary, was instrumental in starting the WATCH D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) Program for fathers. 

We hope [sharing this with the public] will give you a feel of how wonderful, dedicated and committed the volunteers are who serve every day to make a difference,” said Mann.

Sarah Mertins
Author: Sarah MertinsEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Managing Editor
I grew up on a farm in New Mexico and miss eating hot chile and having four seasons. I didn't start college until I was already a mother and double majored in English and anthropology. I received an Honors B.A. from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette and was named “Outstanding Student” in English. My honors thesis is titled “The Enduring and Ever-Changing Legend of La Llorona.” I worked as a police reporter for a bit before staying home in Kingwood to raise my two daughters. My hobbies include reading, gardening, cooking and traveling.

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