School volunteers honored
They provide more than 60,000 volunteer hours. They save schools nearly $1 million annually. They are volunteers for Caldwell County Schools, and their service was recognized at a luncheon held Tuesday at Cedar Rock Country Club.
Volunteers from each of the 25 Caldwell County schools were named volunteers of the year, and out of those, a system-wide volunteer of the year was named: Jeannie Hamby, who has already logged 400 hours at Happy Valley School this year alone.
Hamby credits her grandmother, a former assistant teacher in Michigan, for her love of volunteerism.
“God put this in my heart to help these kids,” a tearful Hamby said during the ceremony.
On hand for the event were members of the Caldwell County Board of Education and various school officials, as well as volunteers from each school. Dottie Darsie, a board member since 1994, recalled her years as a school volunteer and the impact she had on a particular student having difficulty making friends.
“I remember a first-grader who had changed schools four times in one year,” she told the packed dining room. “He asked if I could read to him from under a table, because he was too scared to come out. I did. Three weeks later, his family moved again. I only hope there were volunteers like you where he moved to.”
Grey Scheer, the director of community relations for Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corp., announced the winners. One by one, each filed by school board members and were welcomed with warm applause and cheers.
Hamby has been a volunteer for 12 years, as a tutor, as a lunch buddy, in fundraising and helping beautify the school. Hamby has two children, Makayla, 16, who attends the Caldwell Career Center Middle College, and Noah, 13, who attends Happy Valley School.