SBLI Superstar Volunteers

SBLI Superstar Volunteers
Celebrating Volunteers at Schools Nationwide

We know how important a role school volunteers play in making schools better and helping students succeed. Volunteer work often gets little attention, but it has such an important impact. PTO Today and SBLI have teamed up to celebrate school and parent group volunteers from across the country. Learn more.

Scott Toaz

Scott Toaz, Ionia, Mich.

Scott Toaz segues easily between tutoring reading and school public relations tasks, from chaperoning field trips to doing prep work for upcoming events. Once a year, he even dons a chef’s hat and cooks up a remarkable school dinner.
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This Year’s Superstar Volunteers


Chris Guimond

Chris Guimond, Newport News, Va.

Chris Guimond’s life revolves around school. When he isn’t at work, he can usually be found helping in a classroom or planning family events for the PTA.

Read more about Chris


Wendie Boswell

Wendie Boswell, Shawnee, Okla.

When she sees a need, Wendie Boswell steps up, whether it’s sharing her Native American culture, serving popcorn to students, or baking birthday cakes for foster children.

Read more about Wendie


Jennifer Urias

Jennifer Urias, Tucson, Ariz.

When enrollment at her children’s private school fell, Jennifer Urias used her business skills to raise the school’s profile and to reenergize the parent group.

Read more about Jennifer


Ileann Jimenez-Sepulveda

Ileann Jimenez-Sepulveda, Washington, D.C.

Busy working mom Ileann Jimenez-Sepulveda tried to start with small involvement commitments but after just one school year became an impassioned leader of her school’s volunteer corps.

Read more about Ileann


Christine Platt

Christine Platt, Naperville, Ill.

Retired physicist Christine Platt raised student interest in math and science with the help of robotics, Legos, and a whole lot of fun and games.

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Tom Lambert

Tom Lambert, Dunwoody, Ga.

Tom Lambert has a long volunteer resume, but his top accomplishment might be motivating other parents to do more for their child’s school.

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Nancy Webb

Nancy Webb, Lavalette, W.Va.

Nancy Webb does whatever it takes to keep a school library open, from raising money for new books to keeping handwritten logs when the computer crashes.

Read more about Nancy


Carol Caldwell

Carol Caldwell, Polvadera, N.M.

When she first volunteered at Midway Elementary, Carol Caldwell was a mom. Now a grandmother, she’s still working to support the school’s students.

Read more about Carol


Toni Huff

Toni Huff, Milton, Ky.

Toni Huff isn’t one to back down from a challenge. This year she’s stepped up her school volunteer efforts, despite undergoing treatment for cancer.

Read more about Toni


Anthony Noel

Anthony Noel, Monmouth, N.J.

For more than 10 years, Anthony Noel has volunteered as a boys’ basketball coach, sharing what he’s learned about the game and about life.

Read more about Anthony


Nydia Villafane

Nydia Villafane, Waterbury, Ct.

In her first year as a school volunteer, Nydia Villafane painted dozens of faces, chaperoned a long-distance field trip, and wore a duck suit for a day.

Read more about Nydia


2011-12 School Year Superstar Volunteers


Katie Pierson

Katie Pierson, Minnetonka, Minn.

As a new PTO president, Katie Pierson celebrates all types of parent involvement, whether it’s joining kids for a cafeteria lunch or volunteering in a classroom.

Read more about Katie


Liz Steventon

Liz Steventon, Rochester, Vt.

After Tropical Storm Irene flooded her hometown, Liz Steventon played a key role in getting things back to normal at the damaged school.

Read more about Liz


Alvaro Rojas

Alvaro Rojas, Aurora, Colo.

When Alvaro Rojas sees something that needs to be done at school, he does it, whether it’s shoveling snow or chaperoning a field trip.

Read more about Alvaro


Cathy Boese

Cathy Boese, Andover, Mass.

Mom of four Cathy Boese initially hesitated to get involved at school. Now that she’s a PTO leader, her low-pressure approach is attracting new volunteers.

Read more about Cathy


Tina DeClue

Tina DeClue, Columbia, Mo.

From forming a support group to helping feed hungry kids, Tina DeClue does whatever she can to help out families at her son’s school.

Read more about Tina


Rosita Gonzalez

Rosita Gonzalez, Madison, Wis.

Rosita Gonzalez is a big believer in the idea that it takes a village to raise a child. As PTO president, that’s meant making it easier for all kinds of families to get involved.

Read more about Rosita


Sabina Ernst

Sabina Ernst, Montclair, N.J.

As a veterinarian and a gardener, Sabina Ernst knows that one sure way to get students excited about learning is to get them outdoors.

Read more about Sabina


Xraka White

Xraka White, Houston

Xraka White prefers to stay behind the scenes, but when her son’s private school faced closure, she played a lead role in saving it.

Read more about Xraka


Shawna Crist

Shawna Crist, Niceville, Fla.

Whether she’s painting flowerpots or sorting recyclables, Shawna Crist has one goal: to leave Plew Elementary a better place for future students.

Read more about Shawna


Judith Wencel

Judith Wencel, Wichita, Kan.

Thanks to Judith Wencel, hundreds of struggling middle school students meet each week with community volunteers who help with homework and serve as mentors.

Read more about Judith


Audrey Covello

Audrey Covello, Schererville, Ind.

Kids have a lot of energy. When Audrey Covello volunteers at school and sees students who are excited about learning, she can’t help but feel energized, too.

Read more about Audrey


Ed Bala

Ed Bala, Fayetteville, N.C.

On most days, you can find Ed Bala at school. But while one day he might wear a crazy costume to greet students, another day he’ll be all business, teaching the chess club how to checkmate.

Read more about Ed


Lynne Millar

Lynne Millar, Tracy, Calif.

Disappointed that her children’s school did not offer art education, Lynne Millar started teaching kids about Monet and the Mona Lisa, as well as helping them create their own works of art.

Read more about Lynne


Cathi Knickrehm

Cathi Knickrehm, Oak Park, Ill.

Cathi Knickrehm had a simple idea: to improve the grounds of her children’s school. Before long that grew into a grand project, an organic garden that would double as an outdoor classroom.

Read more about Cathi


Gary Parkes

Gary Parkes, Woodstock, Ga.

When he’s not at work as a mortgage broker or an independent marketing consultant, Gary Parkes is likely to be volunteering at Carmel Elementary or working the phones on the school’s behalf.

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Jeanette Tanafranca

Jeanette Tanafranca, Troy, Mich.

Parents aren’t very likely to help at school if they don’t feel at home there. That’s why Jeanette Tanafranca helped launch school coffee klatches for parents who speak English as a second language.

Read more about Jeanette


Joanna Bradshaw

Joanna Bradshaw, Fort Meade, Md.

When Joanna Bradshaw sees a need, she does something about it. After learning about self-esteem problems among young girls, she created a mentoring program with local Air Force women. Now, she’s busy recruiting middle school parents to volunteer.

Read more about Joanna


Sunnie Robles-Schmidt

Sunnie Robles-Schmidt, Santa Rosa, Calif.

Not long ago, Sunnie Robles-Schmidt’s schedule didn’t allow her to volunteer at school. Now she’s making up for lost time, volunteering every Wednesday in her daughter’s 2nd grade class and pitching in for the PTA.

Read more about Sunnie


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