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The 2012-2013 Palm Beach County Outstanding Student, Adult and Senior School Volunteers are: Student Volunteer of the Year Samantha Kerker, senior at Atlantic High School; Adult Volunteer of the Year Jennifer Martinez from Hidden Oaks Elementary; Senior Volunteer of the Year Wayne Anderson from Lighthouse Elementary.  Over 39,000 volunteers work with our students and teachers supporting our goal of academic excellence.  These three outstanding volunteers directly impact student achievement and are shining examples of the thousands of dedicated volunteers working with our students each and every day.

 

Samantha Kerker not only created Students for the Poor, a non-profit student-run club that raises awareness of poverty, but she has incited a desire and commitment in her fellow students.  There are now 28 clubs in 28 local Palm Beach County schools that have more than 1,500 students who are involved and teens across the nation are contacting her to see how they can make a difference in other people’s lives, as well.   Last year she was chosen as one of America’s top 10 youth volunteers of the year at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.   She has over 1530 community service hours on her transcript, while still maintaining a 4.45 HPA as an International Baccalaureate student. 

    

Jennifer Martinez has volunteered in excess of 2,000 hours yearly in the three schools (Hidden Oaks Elementary, Don Estridge High Tech Middle, and Park Vista High School) that her children attend and has started many programs and events.  As a mother of four, including an autistic son, she has been a volunteer in Palm Beach County schools for 13 years.  Further, she serves as President of the Palm Beach County Council of PTA/PTSAs and does committee work on the Florida PTA. Under her leadership there has been a significant increase in attendance and her administration has received praise for its communication efforts, such as email newsletters – “The PTA Press” and “Weekly Word”.  She works on numerous committees at the local, state, and national levels.

 

Wayne Anderson has volunteered thousands of hours and served in nine Palm Beach County schools over the last 20 years.  His services include: working with students to improve academics, behavior and attendance; serving on eight SAC committees; assisting staff in many capacities; providing recognition to deserving students.  He has also served as debate team and chess club coaches and has served as a judge for many contests and projects.  Even with all of this large scale involvement, Mr. Anderson is the “jack of all trades” and “go to” guy at Lighthouse Elementary. He works in many capacities to improve the school for the benefit of students, as well as staff.  He does everything from taking photographs at school events to helping teachers set up computers. 

 

‘Every school in the county needs volunteers like Samantha, Jennifer and Wayne,” said Debi Elfen, Volunteer Coordinator for the School District.  “We value the time and special talents of all our volunteers. We invite you to come volunteer in our schools and help make a difference in a child’s life today.”

For more information on the 2012-13 Outstanding School Volunteers please contact Ms. Elfen at 561-434 8789 and deborah.elfen@palmbeachschools.org  or Judee Cabrera at 561-434-8771  and  judee.cabrera@palmbeachschools.org  or if you are interested in volunteering please click  http://www.palmbeachschools.org/pao/Volunteers/index.asp.

 

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