School Volunteers of the Year

  • The three winners of the Volunteer of the Year Award from the School District of Palm Beach County have a lot in common. They are kind, generous, giving, and are appreciated by the schools and students they serve. Alexandria Pizzino, Timothy Arnold, and Gerre Wood are this year's outstanding volunteers. Read on to learn more about their respective achievements.

    The three winners from Palm Beach County are now nominated to be recognized by the Florida Department of Education for the statewide Outstanding School Volunteer Award which will be announced later in the school year.

  • Alexandria PizzinoAlexandria Pizzino – Youth Volunteer of The Year for Palm Beach County
    Pizzino is a student at Park Vista High School. The school says it nominated her because of her character, service, involvement, and commitment. 

    As the top-ranked student in her class last year, with Advanced International Cambridge Examinations (AICE) and Advanced Placement (AP) classes, her academic record is also noteworthy. Pizzino particularly loves math and chooses to share her love of the subject with others by forming a lunch tutoring program with fellow students in the Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society.

    In light of the program’s success, Pizzino and her classmates expanded the program to Hidden Oaks Elementary to offer tutoring services as well as mentoring. Growing from 20 students and more than 600 free tutoring hours in its first year, the program now has nearly 200 members. Pizzino hopes to expand the program to additional elementary and middle schools in the area.

    Pizzino exhibited her leadership skills by forming a group to raise money for “A Prom to Remember.” She also started her own foundation called The Swim Safety Foundation, which raises money to fund swimming lessons.

  • Timothy ArnoldTimothy Arnold – Adult Volunteer of the Year for Palm Beach County
    A teacher’s time in a school is approximately 1,365 hours per school year, so Tim Arnold’s 1,337 volunteer hours at Crosspointe Elementary School last year is simply breathtaking.

    Arnold has been called the “face of the school” as he greets visitors in the front office and walks the campus halls with a warm smile, shakes hands with all of the students, and has an Olaf lunch box stocked with treats to reward new students and those who exhibit good behavior.

    In addition, Arnold serves as a strong role model for the young men and women at the school. Starting with 15 boys, Arnold would meet with the group each morning and check in on their time at home, check homework and behavior and the student’s well-being. Since his involvement, the boys have shown improvement in their academics and skills.

    Arnold expanded the program to 25 students and began to include girls in his lessons about hygiene, manners, dress, self-esteem and respect. He also hosts a “student of the week” lunch for students who show improvement.

  • Gerre WoodGerre Wood – Senior Volunteer of the Year for Palm Beach County
    Gerre Wood served as an educator for nearly 50 years, but retirement wasn’t in the cards for her. As such, she spent the last 11 years volunteering at Roosevelt Elementary School.

    The former media specialist can often be found in the media center checking, shelving, repairing and taking inventory of books. 

    When she’s not between the stacks, Wood is often transforming the entire media center with decorations that she buys with own money, highlighting the holidays, Dr. Seuss’ birthday, Black History Month, or Hispanic Heritage Month. She also ensures that the kindergarten and fifth-grade graduations and holiday shows at the school have an appropriately decorated stage for the events.

    Wood also reads with the children, in addition to helping organize Reading Counts, Literacy Night, the book fair and STEM exercises. Even though she goes above and beyond by volunteering more than 50 hours per week, Wood has stepped up her game to show her gratitude to the teachers by organizing all of the appreciation gifts and lunches for the staff at the school.