Most of them aren't on the Lawrence school district payroll, but they're in the schools day after day working side by side with teachers, principals, secretaries and others.
They were honored Tuesday night at the annual "Friends of Education" reception, where each school in the district recognized an outstanding volunteer. The reception was held at South Junior High School.
Pinckney School Principal Gary Freeman said parent Jane Platt has served in numerous volunteer roles and as a paraprofessional and office secretary as well.
"The only two things I know she hasn't done is be custodian and principal, and I'm working diligently on taking care of the latter," Freeman said.
Cordley School honored Dee Ann De Roin for helping to organize the school's Computer Technology Committee five years ago. Cordley Principal Janet Broers said De Roin also was one of the first members of Cordley's School Improvement Team.
"She had a very pleasant way of bringing up things that we might not have thought about, especially from a parent's perspective," Broers said.
GARY SQUIRES, a Douglas County Sheriff's deputy, was honored by Deerfield School both for being an active parent and for conducting the Douglas County Sheriff's D.A.R.E. program at the school. D.A.R.E stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education.
Deerfield teacher Tom Christie said that by helping students to understand the bad affects of drug and alcohol abuse, he probably has given students "a better opportunity to participate in a fuller, more rewarding life."
Christie added that Squires has reached the students at another level. He said one student commented that "I like Officer Squires because he has a sense of humor, and I think I could trust him."
Kathy Tate, another D.A.R.E. educator, was honored by Broken Arrow School.
Sometimes friends come in teams: Lawrence High School honored the entire Kansas University math department.
"Since the early 1960s, they have been cooperating with us and been providing opportunities for our kids to earn university credit," LHS Principal Brad Tate said. "They also go beyond that program by providing in-service for our teachers."
WAKARUSA Valley School honored its entire PTO for providing tremendous support during the transition period following the death of Wakarusa Principal Ernie Coleman in September.
Other "friends" and those honoring them were: Jane Gish, Centennial School; Guy Neighbors, East Heights; Myles Schachter and Scott Stockwell, Grant; Suzanne Dillon, Hillcrest; Cynthia Hodges, India; Maggie Hamilton, Kennedy; Bob Lewis, New York; Bob and Kathy Dinsdale, Quail Run; Sarah Williams, Riverside; Linda James, Schwegler; William Bayouth, Sunset Hill; Judy James, Woodlawn; Jean Cook, Central Junior High School; Gay Clock, South Junior High School; Brad West, West Junior High School; and Flora Wyatt, Lawrence public schools and the Lawrence Education Assn.