During the 2012-2013 school year the Volunteers in Public Schools program provided 849,129 hours of service at a value of more than $16 million.
The school district recognized this contribution during the annual VIPS Recognition Day held at Mainland High School Feb. 14. During the recognition, the following Outstanding School Volunteer awards were announced.
John Green, volunteer at Hinson Middle School, Daytona Beach was named Outstanding School Volunteer in the senior category. Four years ago Mr. Green offered his expertise to Hinson's math teachers, even though he was enjoying a very busy retirement. Since then, Mr. Green has served the math department every Tuesday and Thursday, from before first bell to the day's end.
Marcia James, mother of two Mainland High School Buccaneers, and "adopted mom" to well over 100 high school band members, was named the Outstanding School Volunteer in the adult category. A veteran volunteer at the elementary and middle school levels, she now serves the high school's marching band, concert band and orchestra.
Benjamin Herstein, exceptional 8th grade student at Southwestern Middle School, received the Outstanding School Volunteer award in the youth category. He shares his time and knowledge tutoring struggling peers in math. For the past two years this "geek" has tutored during the school's "Open Media Nights." His first sessions were flops -- as students assigned to Ben's group weren't very thrilled to have a peer tutor them in math. So Ben turned his sessions into a math party and attendance increased. By using math games and card tricks to reinforce concepts, his tutor sessions became a hit.
Ben also was presented with the 2014 Florida Outstanding School Volunteer Award from the Florida Department of Education. He is one of only five youth volunteers throughout Florida to receive the honor from Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart.
Also honored at the event were:
Second grade Teacher Meri Albert and volunteer Lori Partington from Pine Trail Elementary School with the Outstanding Elementary Teacher/Volunteer Team Award
Teacher Charlotte Besse and volunteer William Russo from Silver Sands Middle School with the Outstanding Middle-High Teacher/Volunteer Team Award
T. DeWitt Taylor Middle-High School and Cypress Creek Elementary School received the Parent Involvement Awards for programs that increase parent participation
For information on volunteering with Volusia County Schools, contact Pat Travis, facilitator for volunteer/partnership programs, at (386) 734-7190, 255-6475 or 427-5223, Ext. 38381 or the individual volunteer coordinator at a school.