District Celebrates School Volunteer Week

District Celebrates School Volunteer Week
Posted on 04/07/2019
Volunteer Week: April 7-13

The School District of Palm Beach County recognizes the thousands of volunteers who help carry out the mission of our schools, and joins the country in celebrating National School Volunteer Week from April 7-13.

In 2018, over 44,000 volunteers donated their time to Palm Beach County schools, worth an estimated $24 million contribution to the District.

Click here to learn how to become a volunteer.

“Volunteers enrich the lives of our children by making the most significant investment of all – the investment of their time, compassion, and knowledge,” said Stacey Oak, the District's Volunteer Coordinator. “Their dedication supports the efforts of our educators because it allows teachers to spend more time concentrating on their core mission, educating our students."

Next month during the Volunteer and Business Partner Awards Breakfast, Alexandria Pizzino, Timothy Arnold, and Gerre Wood will be honored as the District's 2018 Youth Volunteer of the Year, Adult Volunteer of the Year and Senior Volunteer of the Year respectively.

Alexandria Pizzino: Youth Volunteer of The Year For Palm Beach County

Alexandria Pizzino

Pizzino is a student at Park Vista Community 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 AICE and AP classes, her academic achievements are 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 and mentoring services. 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 Arnold: Adult Volunteer of the Year For Palm Beach County

Tim ArnoldA teacher’s time in a school is approximately 1,365 hours per school year. That's why Tim Arnold’s 1,337 volunteer hours at Crosspointe Elementary School last year is exceptional.

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 all of the student’s hands, and has a lunch box stocked with treats to reward new students and those who exhibit good behavior.

Additionly, Arnold serves as a strong role model for young men and women at the school. Starting with 15 boys, Arnold would meet with the group each morning to check homework, 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 Wood: Senior Volunteer of the Year For Palm Beach County

Gerre WoodGerre Wood served as an educator for nearly 50 years, but retirement wasn’t in the books for her. That's why Wood 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, as well as helping organize Reading Counts, Literacy Night, the book fair, and STEM exercises.

Wood goes above and beyond, by volunteering more than 50 hours per week, and shows her gratitude for the teachers by organizing all of the appreciation gifts and lunches for the staff at the school.

The School District of Palm Beach County