Volunteers of the Year 2017

Poway Unified Announces the Selection of District Volunteers of the Year

Rachel Allums, Jenny Burnett, and Cathy Rongey Receive School District Honors

The Poway Unified School District is proud to recognize our volunteers and is pleased to announce that Rachel Allums, Jenny Burnett, and Cathy Rongey have been chosen as Poway Unified District Volunteers of the Year for 2017 from a very distinguished list of school site volunteers of the year.

Rachel Allums, Twin Peaks Middle School

Rachel Allums embodies the spirit of giving without expecting anything in return. She has served two terms as PTSA President, Parliamentarian, and Treasurer over the last five years at Twin Peaks Middle School. She has initiated multiple events for both students and parents to feel better connected to the school. She started a back-to-school parent education event so parents have the tools they need to stay informed, and she has hosted Principal chats so parents have direct access to the administrative team; she helped create "School Year’s Eve," a tour and orientation to ease the transition for new and incoming students; she has also been integral to the success of countless events including Character Counts and Volunteer Appreciation breakfasts, Academic Awards Night, Math Making it Real program, SWITCH documentary screening, and Adopt-a-Family gift drive. Rachel serves as a mentor to other PTSA presidents by providing support and sharing her experiences, and she is also the PTSA President at Poway High School, where both of her children will be attending next year. Her son proudly says, "She is a leader and a role model and I want to be like her." Rachel’s legacy of giving will remain long after she leaves Twin Peaks for Poway High.

Jenny Burnett, Pomerado Elementary School

Jenny Burnett has a deep passion for students that motivates her to go above and beyond for Pomerado Elementary School. She is the driving force behind Pomerado’s annual ReWear sale, which generates money to buy gift cards for Pomerado families in need. Jenny spends hours sorting, organizing, and selling donated shoes and clothing for the popular event, which is open to the public. Jenny also organizes the Book Exchange, which was dedicated to a lifelong Pomerado volunteer. She works with the school’s Spanish-speaking families and encourages them to attend parenting classes, volunteer in classrooms, and be an active part of the learning community. In addition to being a member of the PTA and School Site Council, Jenny is the yearbook coordinator. She ensures all groups and activities are represented, creating a treasured keepsake for all students. She accomplishes many things behind the scenes, working on events like the Talent Show, Science Night, Cultural Night, and Movie Night. Jenny is described as a "shining example of what a Volunteer of the Year should be."

Cathy Rongey, Westview High School

Cathy Rongey and her husband Scott have given thousands of hours of service to the students of PUSD. They have volunteered with Westview High’s Robotics program for many years, attending every weekend meeting and many weekdays during build season. Cathy takes the time to mentor students and often teaches them skills beyond what the advisors can. She manages the Robotics website, serves as a driver, and guides the business administration for the program. She also initiated start-up robotics programs at several local elementary and middle schools. She and the Westview students visit younger students to build up interest and appreciation for STEM learning. There would be no Robotics program at Westview without Cathy. Her colleagues say, "Anything we need, we hear ‘I’ll do it!’ over and over again."

2017 Poway Unified Volunteers of the Year

The following is a list of all PUSD 2017 school site Volunteers of the Year. All of these finalists are outstanding candidates, representative of the high level of commitment to our students and schools.

Name Site
Orlando Cardoso Adobe Bluffs
Noreen Walton Abraxas
Rebecca MacBain Bernardo Heights
Jenette O’Brien Black Mountain
Melanie Jacobson Canyon View
Jamie Stinson Chaparral
Shalom Bowcott Creekside
Val Azcona Deer Canyon
Ana Rubio Del Norte
Sarah Wilson Del Sur
Sarah Mastrianni Garden Road
Erin Tavernier Highland Ranch
Gwen Maunder Los Penasquitos
Naneth Sotic-Jose Meadowbrook
Kris Hernandez Mesa Verde
Beth Case Midland
Katie Burns Monterey Ridge
Xu Perry Morning Creek
Robin Rosenthal Mt. Carmel
Cass Kaminetz Oak Valley
Cristina Gerardi Painted Rock
Jenny Burnett Pomerado
Janet Lettang Poway High
Liz Schwartz Rancho Bernardo
Tara Cicchelli Rolling Hills
Mona hidden Stone Ranch
Rose Meloney Sundance
Dana McPherson Sunset Hills
Julie Trafecanty Tierra Bonita
Kevin Juza Turtleback
Rachel Allums Twin Peaks
Selena Pankretz Valley
Cathy Rongey Westview
Tracy Hotze Westwood
JoAnn Sweidel Willow Grove


The Poway Unified School District (PUSD) is an equal opportunity employer/program and is committed to an active Nondiscrimination Program. PUSD prohibits discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying based on actual or perceived race, color, ancestry, national origin, nationality, immigration status, ethnicity, ethnic group identification, age, religion, marital or parental status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or gender expression or association with a person or a group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. For more information, please contact: Title IX/Equity Compliance Officer, James Jimenez, Associate Superintendent of Personnel Support Services, Poway Unified School District, 15250 Avenue of Science, San Diego, CA 92128, 1-858-521-2800, extension 2121, jjimenez@powayusd.com. For students, you may contact Title IX Coordinator/ 504 Coordinator Jamie Dayhoff, Director of Attendance and Discipline, Poway Unified School District, 1-858-521-2840, jdayhoff@powayusd.com

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POWAY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT | 15250 Avenue of Science, San Diego, CA 92128 | (858) 521-2800