The Poway Unified School District is fortunate to have hundreds of volunteers who donate countless hours to the children on PUSD. The PUSD Board of Education and Superintendent Dr. John Collins would like to thank all of our volunteers for their time and support.
Each PUSD school has the opportunity to nominate a candidate as an outstanding volunteer of the year. The following volunteers were chosen as PUSD Volunteers of the Year:
Shirley Black, Rancho Bernardo High School
Shirley Black has been an outstanding member of the RBHS Friends of the Library for eight years, making major contributions to their fund-raising efforts. She shares her passion for learning and reading, and has used every ounce of her considerable will to help make Friends of the Library events successful. Her passion for volunteering with the FOL comes from her own experiences as a reader and her deep belief that books provide students with pathways to knowledge, discovery, and new opportunity.
Shirley is tireless in her drive to help the school library raise funds to purchase materials and to hire additional staff. Shirley worked at Barnes & Noble before she retired, and still maintains a special connection with them. She uses this connection to arrange for B & N to hold core literature books sales at RBHS and has raised thousands of dollars for the RBHS library by wrapping hundreds of gifts at B & N the week prior to Christmas.
According to Rancho Bernardo High School Principal, David LeMaster, "Shirley is an inspiration to all. Her accomplishments and passion for learning keep her spirit strong. She is adamant about having an FOL presence at local events such as RB Alive, the RBHS Foundation Pancake Breakfast, the Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast, the Jewish Food Festival, and many other events. Year after year, Shirley has given her best to the students of RBHS."
Jeanette Candelaria, Valley Elementary School
At Valley Elementary School, Jeanette Candelaria has served an advocate for bringing technology into the classrooms. She has single handedly introduced video conferencing at Valley so students can speak with authors, meet students from other schools, and see marine life. In addition, she has been instrumental in coordinating Valley Elementary’s science field day and obtaining grants to pay for it. Jeannette has also written grants to fund the Valley Science Club which had a membership of more than 50 students last year.
She introduced a book publishing program to Valley and has spent many hours in classrooms helping students prepare their books for publication. Many students have received a free copy of the book they published. Jeanette assists in getting library books, helps with Tiger Trackers, and coordinates the mini grants. In her spare time, she has coached several clubs for the past three years.
Valley Principal, Dr. Andrew Johnsen, notes, "Jeanette is an unsung hero who goes about her business without fanfare. Valley Elementary is very fortunate to have a parent like Jeanette."
Lorna Reese, Twin Peaks Middle School
Lorna Reese stands out not only for her dedication to Twin Peaks Middle School, but also for her service to PUSD at the district level.. Lorna has served as Chair of the PUSD Middle School College Readiness Night for the last two years. She Lorna worked with PUSD administrators, principals, staff, and volunteers to find funding, secure presenters and vendors, spearhead and coordinate logistics and correspondence, and create and publicize the event. The College Readiness Nights were well attended, and our families are better informed and more prepared for the path to College Readiness due to Lorna’s hard work.
Lorna also served the district’s students and families as a member of the Poway Unified School District PTA Board. Over the years Lorna has been the Historian, the Recording Secretary, the College Scholarship Chair as well as a member of the Nominating Committee.
At Twin Peaks Lorna chaired the 6th Grade Math Making It Real program in 2011-2012 and co-chaired the same program in 2012-2013. She worked with the Twin Peaks PTA, principal and counselors to create the 6th Grade Math Making It Real event. She identified and recruited community speakers, coordinated program scheduling with counselors/teachers, recruited on-site volunteers and coordinated logistics.
Twin Peaks Middle School Principal, Dr. Kelly Burke observes, "Students at Twin Peaks and other middle schools in the district have benefited from Lorna’s participation in programs that support the district’s mission of preparing all students for college and
careers. She is an enthusiastic and hardworking volunteer, humble about her contributions, and very deserving of this recognition."