Region 15 Names 2011-12 Volunteers of the Year

Several volunteers honored for their work and dedication to the region.

The following people have been named Region 15 2012-13 Volunteers of the Year:

Theresa Forish, Principal

Cathy Winter:
Cathy Winter is an extremely dedicated and hardworking volunteer at Pomperaug Elementary School. Over the past five years, Cathy has been very involved volunteering including being a room parent every year and volunteering in the Media Center on a regular basis. In 2009, Cathy was the chairperson of the first “Evening Under the Stars,” which earned over $20,000 to purchase SMART Boards for the school. She continued to be involved with the event over the next two years as well. She has also served as PTO Vice President, and she has been the PTO President for this year.

Jack Zamary, Principal

Anna Forino:
During the past nine years, Anna Forino has served in many different capacities at Middlebury Elementary School. She currently serves at the MES PTO Treasurer and also oversees the “Email Blast” as well as the MES PTO web site. In addition, she has served in just about every volunteer role imaginable, including: school directory publisher, MES Social volunteer, room parent, mystery reader, field trip chaperone and Coast to Coast Marathon volunteer. Remarkably, the impressive quantity of her efforts is actually surpassed by another of Anna’s virtues – the quality of her efforts. With everything that Anna does, she brings professionalism, dedication and a wonderful sense of humor. MES is a better place because of the generosity, talent and spirit that Anna Forino contributes on an ongoing basis.

Matthew Salvestrini, Principal

Gabby Addison:
Gabby Addison is the parent of twins, Jake and Taylor, in fourth grade at GES. Gabby’s volunteerism has made her a perennial presence at Gainfield over the past several years. Her dedication has set a new standard for volunteer commitment and has made Gainfield a much better place for students, staff and families. This year, Gabby served as the President of the GES PTO. She is someone who simply does not take “no” for an answer. Her talents for mobilizing people to support a cause were best illustrated at the Gainfield Gala this February. This fun, fundraising evening out helped raise $20,000 for the students and teachers of Gainfield and created a unique opportunity for parents and staff to spend an evening together. Her support for Gainfield epitomizes the very best of what it means to volunteer one’s time and talents to benefit an organization. On behalf of the students, staff and school I would like to say “Thank You” to Gabby Addison and honor her as Gainfield’s Volunteer of the Year.

Christopher Moretti, Principal

Yarel Marshall:
Yarel Marshall has been an active member of the PTO since she arrived at Long Meadow Elementary School three years ago. As a Mystery Reader, she has volunteered in her daughters’ classrooms leading discussions with reading groups, helping on craft days, and participating in fifth grade’s ‘Movin’ On’ party. Yarel has been a weekly volunteer in the Media Center as well as assisting with Book Fairs, PJ Story Hour, PTO Clothing Drive, and LMES Field Day. She holds three co-chair positions for the PTO: The Ice Cream Social, Author/Illustrator visits, and the Anthology Committee. Yarel introduced the Anthology to LMES last year. With her guidance, a beautiful anthology of written pieces and art work was created with entries from every student from pre-school through grade five. Yarel accepted the offer to serve as a parent representative on the LMES Safe School Climate Committee.

Amanda Farrell:
Amanda Farrell began volunteering at Long Meadow Elementary School in 2002 when her oldest daughter entered kindergarten. She has been involved each year in various aspects of classroom activities. She also helps at Book Fairs, Adopt-a Book program, PJ Story Hour and Field Day. This past year has brought a new responsibility to Amanda. She has become Co-Chair of the Yearbook Committee. Hundreds of hours have been spent over the school year interviewing publishing companies, taking photos, designing layouts, and editing. Amanda is careful to include new students that enter during the year, and works hard to make sure the yearbook is filled with candid photos and unique touches that bring great enjoyment to our students and their families.
The LMES Community thanks Yarel and Amanda for dedicating their time to Long Meadow for the betterment of our students.

John Sieller, Principal

Karen Critelli:
Karen Critelli – Before this past September, I did not know or know of Karen Critelli. In September I heard she had volunteered to coordinate the S&S A+ program at MMS, and that it was probably good news for MMS after her success at LMES. Even before Open House, Karen captured the kids and families attention for registering with the A+ program by turning registration into a raffle for an iPad and other prizes. At first registrations came in gradually, but through constant doses of publicity and enthusiasm Karen received over 900 registrations. Karen then set her sights on encouraging the school’s principal to submit a principal’s challenge to Stop and Shop, which resulted in a large additional financial award to the school and an opportunity for the school principal to prove that the all-too-rare combination of age, beauty & brains can win the race. As our A+ winnings sour over $10,000, we thank Karen for making it all happen.

Donna Klim:
Donna Klim, for the past two years, has quietly served as the Coordinator for Fall Fundraiser, truly a demanding and seemingly never ending task without an equal. As many of you know, this fundraiser almost runs though the entire year, starting with selecting the catalogues and items, putting together the packets for distribution, energizing the stents and parents to sell, and finally accounting for and distributing all the orders. Donna does this quietly and seemingly effortlessly, although we all know how much work is going on behind the scenes thanks to her. Donna also was instrumental with last year’s Fun Factor Socials, and still has miles to go before she sleeps since she will be coordinating our school’s Year-End All School Picnic. Thank you, Donna for your consistent support.

Anthony R. Salutari, Jr., Principal

Sharon Gustenhoven:
Sharon Gustenhoven has been the RMS P.T.O. President for the past two years. During this time, she has dedicated countless volunteer hours in support of our school community.
Mrs. Gustenhoven has chaired day and evening P.T.O. meetings, consistently communicating current happenings to our parents/guardians. She planned and organized student assistants to volunteer for our “Sandwich Club,” which meets on a bi-weekly basis. During this bi-weekly meeting, students make approximately 300 sandwiches that are donated to a local soup kitchen to benefit those in need. Mrs. Gustenhoven also has been responsible for planning and organizing several fundraising events including our annual teacher breakfast, direct donations, pie and cookie sales, the bi-annual R.M.S. Book Fair, and our always successful clothing drives. The results of Mrs. Gustenhoven’s efforts, as well as the efforts of all our P.T.O. members, have allowed for the installation of over 20 Smartboards in various R.M.S. classrooms. In addition to Mrs. Gustenhoven’s fundraising efforts, she has been a regular presenter at our Open House events and consistently communicates news and information to interested parents/guardians via the P.T.O. email system. Mrs. Gustenhoven served as our volunteer coordinator for the past six years and has run “Box Tops for Education” at R.M.S. for the last two years with the help of our Student Council. She has also been responsible for creating our R.M.S. Family Directory for the past three years. This year, she and her officers have obtained support from other R.M.S. parents/guardians and are planning our first-ever dinner dance/silent auction to be held on Saturday, May 5. Sadly, Mrs. Gustenhoven’s youngest child is completing his eighth grade year at R.M.S. She will certainly be missed and her efforts, dedication, and support of our entire school community will not be forgotten. Mrs. Gustenhoven most definitely deserves to be recognized and honored as the RMS 2011- 2012 Co- Volunteer of the Year.

Renee Bogdanffy:
Renee Bogdanffy has been the RMS P.T.O. Treasurer for the past two years and has dedicated countless hours in support of Rochambeau Middle School.
As Treasurer, Mrs. Bogdanffy has maintained our financial books to ensure they are always accurate and up-to-date. She has migrated us from bookkeeping by hand to the more efficient QuickBooks program. This transition from manual bookkeeping to QuickBooks will allow for a smooth transition when a new Treasurer is elected for the upcoming school year. The endless hours it took her to get us to this point with our bookkeeping is greatly appreciated. Mrs. Bogdanffy has also put in many hours collecting fundraising checks, totaling the amount, and then making sure the money is deposited into our account. Mrs. Bogdanffy has been committed to attending all our events to not only ensure there are funds available, but collected appropriately as well. Additionally, you will often see Mrs. Bogdanffy running into school to drop off checks needed for various purposes and picking up the money that was collected from various events or fundraisers. Mrs. Bogdanffy is on top of what is going on, and she always makes sure the P.T.O. budget is balanced, while communicating the status of the budget at bi-monthly P.T.O. meetings. One of her most important responsibilities is to close out the financial books at the end of the fiscal year and then work with the accountant to ensure accurate and timely tax filing.
Beyond her efforts that support R.M.S., Mrs. Bogdanffy does volunteer work for the Visiting Artist Program. Some of her responsibilities include collecting checks received from students for their lessons, summarizing information from instructors that is compiled into a report for Central Office Accounting Department and generating monthly invoices allowing instructors to be compensated by Central Office. Mrs. Bogdanffy also acts as a liaison between instructors and the high school coordinating room assignments and scheduling during the academic year and over the summer months. In this role, she acts as a liaison between the music instructors and Central Office. Mrs. Bogdanffy’s youngest child is completing her eighth grade year at R.M.S. She will certainly be missed as will her hard work as our Treasurer. Mrs. Bogdanffy’s efforts and dedication to our school make her an easy selection as one of our 2011-12 Co-Volunteers of the Year.

Lorrie Rodrigue, Principal

Susan Isaccs:
Susan Isaccs is the PTO President for Pomperaug High School, and she works diligently to make a difference at the PHS. Whenever there is an event that needs coordination, such as Open House or the traditional Teacher’s Luncheon, Sue is always there to help organize and make the event run smoothly. As PTO President, Sue is always responsive to new ideas and new strategies for raising money and involving parents. When the idea came up to use part of the PTO meeting time for a “book club” for parents and PHS staff, Sue took the lead and got the word out to solicit parent participation and enthusiasm. Sue’s business sense and calm demeanor are attributes that serve her well. Parents and community members respond to Sue well, and as a result agree to serve in any role that is needed.


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