Those who have given their time to Ector County Independent School District this year were honored at the Volunteers & Partners Awards Celebration today at the Ector County Coliseum.
At least 420 people attended the gathering, whose theme this year was “Symphony of Service.”
“We’ve had outstanding parent and community involvement … this year, Community Liaison Debbie Lieb said. “What a symphony of service! We’re celebrating the collaborative effort, the creativity, the joy that they bring and how everyone shows that we care about students and we value education as a community. We’re here for every student. We want everyone to succeed.”
Volunteers who had five to 25 years of service received pins. Twenty one had five years; 10 had 10 years; one had 20 years logged; and one has given 25 years of service.
Lieb said that group of volunteers has a total of 235 years of service and 97 had 125 hours or more of service.
Martha Copley at Cameron Dual Language Magnet racked up the most hours at an elementary school with 1,070.
Tonja Wilkerson from Wilson & Young Medal of Honor Middle School put in the most hours at a middle school with 405, Lieb said.
Eva Collins had the most hours at a high school with 1,375 at Permian High School.
Noel Elementary was the elementary campus with the most volunteer hours, collectively logging 4,459 hours.
Wilson & Young was the middle school with the most volunteer hours at 2,167.
The high school with the most volunteer hours was Permian with 3,779.
The Outstanding Junior Volunteer Program for students was Burleson Rising Stars. Students accepting the award were Audree Villa, Joaquin Carrasco, Alejandro Lopez and Volunteer Chair Pat Lopez.
The award for adult volunteer program at an elementary school went to Burleson Elementary.
Lopez said this is the third or fourth time she has won an award.
“My volunteers worked really hard and that’s all I can say. We really work hard. We really do,” she said.
Her son Alejandro, who is part of Burleson Rising Stars, was on stage with Lopez.
“It was exciting. This is his last year at the elementary level. Hopefully, he can do this in the junior high level. It felt good. It really did,” Lopez said.
She added that her daughters also give of their time with the schools.
The award for secondary outstanding adult volunteer program was OCTECHS group SPIRIT, which stands for Students, Parents, Instructors Richly Involved Together.
The outstanding secondary adult volunteer was Roxanna Mitchell at OCTECHS.
Donna Bell was recognized as the outstanding volunteer. She volunteers at Dowling and Burnet elementary schools, but Dowling nominated her, Lieb said. She has 26 years of service.
Lieb said volunteer opportunities are always available. Her office figures out what fits their expertise and interest best. Prospective volunteers can apply online, or by calling Lieb or their local school. Her office phone number is 432-456-9012.
She said she has had more inquiries this year from individuals and groups asking how they can help.
“There’s no obstacle or barrier. It’s men or women; all ages — from young parents to those who are retired. We’ve really valued their expertise, their compassion and their concern to invest in the younger generation,” Lieb said.
National Arts Honor Society students decorated the awards.
Students from Burleson Rising Stars pose with Permian High School National Art Society student Tory Shelton, Burleson Principal Tristan Specter and ECISD Board Vice President Doyle Woodall (front). In the back are Superintendent Tom Crowe and Burleson Volunteer Chair Pat Lopez.
Ruth Campbell|Odessa American