Volunteer of the Year Reception

WCPS Volunteer of the Year/Partner in Education Awards
This is the image for the news article titled WCPS Volunteer of the Year/Partner in Education AwardsOn Thursday, April 19, Wayne County Public Schools (WCPS) presented its 2017-18 “Terry Eugene Pilkington Volunteer of the Year Award” to Dianne Uzzell, an Eastern Wayne High volunteer, during a district reception held at the WCPS Professional Development & Family Engagement Center.

Mrs. Uzzell has invested approximately two hundred and seventy five volunteer hours supporting students and staff through school cleanup and beautification efforts, fundraising support, and serving wherever needed. As the treasurer for the school’s Parent Teacher Support Group and athletics booster club, she has an active role in planning events which raise money for teacher mini-grants, athletic programs, and staff appreciation activities. School administrators say she can also be found giving up her spare time pulling weeds, raking, painting, and even spending a Saturday cleaning locker rooms.

“Mrs. Uzzell’s financial knowledge, leadership, and management skills have helped the school sustain its athletic programs, purchase classroom tools, and provide morale boosting incentives for staff,” says Lee Johnson, EWH principal. “Additionally, her willingness to serve in any capacity, even if it means getting her hands dirty to help improve the appearance of the school, further reflects her devotion and unselfish giving.”

The WCPS Volunteer of the Year Award is given in memory of Terry Eugene Pilkington who worked for the district for 20 years. During that time, he coordinated the Volunteer of the Year program and believed strongly in the spirit and importance of volunteering.

The list of 2017-18 school Volunteers of the Year include: Jane Allen Beaman, Brogden MiddleMandi Overby, Brogden Primary; Caitee West, Carver Elementary; Rainee Coakley, Carver Heights Elementary; Aaron Johnson, Charles B. Aycock High; Jan Cagle, Dillard Middle; Shannon Elliott, Eastern Wayne Elementary; Dianne Uzzell, Eastern Wayne High; Edgar Best, Eastern Wayne Middle; Cliff Farr, Edgewood Community Developmental; Marcia Mooring, Fremont STARS Elementary; Lisa Lee, Goldsboro High; Sue Jennette, Grantham Elementary; Danny Weeks, Grantham Middle; Crystal Earl, Greenwood Middle; Natalie Gerringer, Meadow Lane Elementary; Carol Mele, Mount Olive Middle; Carol Barrett Hobbs, North Drive Elementary; Janet Hinnant, Northeast Elementary; Camilla Melton, Northwest Elementary; Shelley Radford, Norwayne Middle; Adreana Hernandez, Rosewood Elementary; Hardy Sullivan, Rosewood High; Scott Albert, Rosewood Middle; Adrian O’Neal, Southern Wayne High; Veronica Chavez, Spring Creek Elementary; Ronda Barfield, Spring Creek High; Melissa Tillman, Spring Creek Middle; Uganda Gay, Tommy’s Road Elementary; Merle Elam, Wayne Early/Middle College High; Lena Chadwick, Wayne Middle High School Academy; and Kenya Williams, Wayne School of Engineering.

At the reception, school officials also recognized its top Partners In Education. Since 1995, the Partners In Education (P.I.E.) program has allowed businesses and organizations to make significant contributions to schools by donating time, expertise, materials and funds. The district currently has approximately 180 Partners In Education. The P.I.E. Steering Committee Chair-Elect, Rev. Adam Seate (Garris Chapel United Methodist Church), presented the awards.

The annual P.I.E. Awards are given in the following categories – Small Award (business/organization with 1-15 employees or members), Medium Award (15–50 employees or members), and Large Award (more than 50 employees or members).

Men of Faith, Integrity & Character, which was nominated by Mount Olive Middle, received the award in the small partner category. Eureka United Methodist Church, which was nominated by Northeast Elementary, received the award in the large partner category.

Following the P.I.E. and Volunteer of the Year awards, Ken Derksen, Coordinator of the P.I.E. program, announced the second annual “Olivia Whitfield Pierce Distinguished Partner Award.” To be nominated, a partner must have demonstrated a lasting dedication and ongoing/continued partnership over time (five or more years) to support students and staff at the nominating school.

The “Olivia Whitfield Pierce Distinguished Partner Award” was presented to Wayne Community College, which had been partnered with Wayne Early/Middle College High School for the past 12 years. The institution of higher learning is an active supporter of students, providing technology and training to teachers to ensure they can continue delivering a technology rich curriculum. It also provides facility space for meetings, and includes school personnel in long-range planning efforts. In addition to providing tours and curriculum guidance, WCC staff also works with students to ensure they make informed decisions about their future.

The award is given in honor of retired WCPS administrator, Olivia Whitfield Pierce. Mrs. Pierce coordinated the Partners In Education Steering Committee for over 15 years, and embodied the qualities of cooperation and partnership as she sought to build a bridge between schools and community partners in order to garner greater resources and supports for students and staff
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