SARASOTA COUNTY, April 8, 2016 – Superintendent
Lori White, School Board Chairwoman Shirley Brown, administrators, school-based
staff and guests will celebrate the individuals and organizations that donate
their time, talent and treasure to the Sarasota County School District and its
students at the annual Volunteers and Business Partners Recognition Celebration.
The annual invitation-only event will be held this year at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday,
April 12, at the Venice Community Center. ABC 7 News Anchor Scott Dennis will
be master of ceremonies.
more than 9,000 students, parents, community members and business leaders
participated in the district’s Volunteer and Partnership program. Their work has
been valued at more than $5 million annually, but Tanice Knopp, the district’s
volunteer and partnership coordinator, calls it “priceless.”
Sponsor of the event is Achieva Credit Union. The Bronze Sponsor is the Gulf
Coast Community Foundation. The awards for district volunteers and business partners
were donated by Sarasota Trophy in honor of Ron Carr, past president of the TeamUP
Volunteer & Partnership Council, an independent organization that supports
the district’s Volunteer and Partnership program. Photography is provided by
Prestige Portraits by Lifetouch. Cash awards to students for outstanding
community volunteerism are courtesy of Freeman Orthodontics, Stage Door Studios
and the TeamUP Volunteer & Partnership Council.
year’s district honorees include Outstanding
Youth Volunteer Jamey Paul, who volunteers at Oak Park School, which serves
students with special needs from pre-kindergarten to age 22. Paul is a
senior at Riverview High School and a student in the school’s International
Baccalaureate program. This is the second year she has volunteered at Oak Park
to teach cheerleading and mentor the students.
Many of the
students Paul interacts with are wheelchair-dependent. She always comes prepared
and makes it interesting, making up a routine for a special Oak Park cheer and
making games out of remembering motions. She is respectful, understanding and
loving with the students. She builds a rapport, finding that certain something
that makes each student special, commenting on his or her smile, effort and attitude.
encouragement from Paul, a student with autism who is tactilely defensive
actually let another person hold her hand. A student with cerebral palsy let others
use her wheelchair tires to stand on during a pyramid. A high school student
was able to do a solo routine in front of the group, remembering a complete
cheer on her own. Paul makes them all feel involved, important and a part of
heading the Oak Park cheerleading program, Paul also started a Special Athlete
Team Cheerleading Program, developing a squad of students with special needs
that competes with other cheerleading teams throughout the state. Although it
is a community-wide opportunity, five of the students of the team are from Oak
Park School. This gives them an opportunity to be actively involved in their community and
in sports, like their peers at other schools. They experience being on stage, winning
and losing, wearing a uniform and taking part in all the other life experiences
that come along with being on a team. By all accounts, Jamey Paul is a mature,
intelligent, impressive young woman with a special fondness for the students at
Oak Park School.
year’s Outstanding Adult Volunteer is Laura
Paolercio. A true asset to the Tatum Ridge Elementary School family,
Paolercio’s contributions to the school have included improving the facility
itself, assisting the staff and supporting the students. She runs the Mileage
Club, which encourages physical fitness and has been instrumental in updating
the school’s TV news network equipment and the sound system in the cafetorium.
She also helped obtain the electronic sign for the school. Paolercio serves as
the school’s Five Star School coordinator and as one of the school’s volunteer
year’s Outstanding Senior Volunteer is Effa
Beauette. A former Riverview High teacher and now volunteer at the school, Beauette
spearheaded and supports Riverview’s Eagle Native Plant Trail and Shoreline
Restoration projects, which include five ecosystems incorporating 75 species
with 2,500 plants. She wrote grants and garnered over $38,000 from more than 40
individuals and organizations to help fund these efforts. To ensure plant
survival, she spent many hours maintaining the trail. Beauette’s giving nature
inspires everyone who meets her.
The district’s Outstanding Local Business Partner
of the Year is Church of
The church is committed to serving the staff and students of Fruitville
Elementary. Its members provided a breakfast at the beginning of the
school year to honor the school’s staff and show them how appreciated they
are. Members also volunteered to help teachers set up their classrooms,
move furniture, or complete any task needed to be ready for the first day of
school. The church also supported the school’s science fair when volunteers
were greatly needed. Members also volunteer in classrooms, working directly
with students and supporting teachers. Church of Motion also has supported
school needs such as shoes for our students and items needed in the classroom
for student reward systems. They also organized a large event for seven school families
and many Fruitville staff, providing holiday support for families in need. Church
of Motion is dedicated to continuing and increasing its support of Fruitville
This year’s Outstanding Corporate Business
Partner of the Year is Burlington
Coat Factory. The store helps students with special needs at Oak
Park School develop skills in social interactions, communication and
independent functioning, among other strategies they need for daily living and working.
The management and staff at Burlington have welcomed Oak Park students with
open arms, and the arrangement has been a win-win for the store and the
students. The students fold towels, pair shoes together, straighten
book shelves and apply size labels. Store management reports that, after Oak
Park students have done their work, the store is neater and cleaner. The tasks
provide vocational and life lessons the students need to develop in order to
live a more independent lifestyle in the future.
awards to be celebrated at the event include the Lilly Kaighin Service Award to
Booker High student Raven Peters, the Bette Woodson Service Award to Venice
High student Talia Ursel, the Teeja Service Through the Arts Award to Sydney
Ring of Suncoast Polytechnical High School, and the Freeman Orthodontics
Inspiration Awards to Makaela Frankford of Suncoast Polytechnical High and
Patricia Maroszek of Venice High.
Venice Community Center is located at 326 Nokomis Ave S. in Venice.