Archive for Friday, November 21, 1997


November 21, 1997


The contributions of people who give time and energy to Lawrence schools were recognized Thursday.

Supporters of Lawrence public schools were honored Thursday afternoon as Friends of Education.

The recognition by the district and its schools is bestowed on people who have gone the extra mile for local schools. Many of them have spent hours volunteering in classrooms or with schools' parent-teacher groups. Some have organized educational, after-school programs for students. Others have helped teachers with their varied duties.

Each school and the Lawrence school district have designated individuals or groups as Friends, who were recognized Thursday with a reception and ceremony at Liberty Hall. The event was sponsored by the Lawrence Education Assn.

The 1997 Friends of Education are:

  • Broken Arrow: Jane Tuttle, who has volunteered in classrooms and the library, co-chaired this year's and last year's school carnivals and now is on the school's site council. She also is a member of the superintendent's advisory council.
  • Centennial: Cathy Higbie, who has served on Centennial's landscape and technology committees. She was instrumental in developing a butterfly garden at the school, and she organizes the school's silent auction.
  • Cordley: Barbara Zimmerman, a grandmother of a Cordley student who has religiously volunteered every Wednesday in a classroom for more than four years.
  • Deerfield: Alison Nye, who has worked in the school's library and computer lab, helped with parties, PTA and field trips for a number of years.
  • East Heights: Angeline Fishburn, a retiree, who works with students.
  • Grant: Carrie Grinter, who volunteers one day a week in the primary classroom at Grant School for the past three years. She also assists regularly with special projects, field trips and parties. She is co-treasurer of the Grant Community Club.
  • Hillcrest: Jane Tovar-Ballagh, who has been an involved parent during the last eight years. She has been instrumental in coordinating Hillcrest's Reading Club, has been an active member of the school's PTO board, has coordinated the school's major fund-raiser, Fall Fling, and has assisted with enrollment.
  • Kennedy: Rhonda Malcolm, who volunteers weekly in the classrooms. She also serves on the site council.
  • New York: Retta Hendricks-Backus, an art teacher at the school and parent of a New York student. She has worked on the school's Parent-Teacher Organization and its Professional Development School Council.
  • Pinckney: Marla Braden, who has helped in the office and with sixth-grade recognition. The school carnivals and auctions have been successful, in part because of her hard work. She has worked on the back-to-school picnic, book fair, chili feed and open house. She is the PTO president and has been a site council member and business partnership parent liaison for the past two years.
  • Prairie Park: Regina Sanders, an active PTA member who has served as president for the past two years.
  • Quail Run: Brenda Hatesohl, a volunteer in classrooms, on the PTO and in district activities. She has chaired several PTO committees and served as PTO president. She has worked to develop a long-range technology plan and raise funds for equipment needed to put the plan in place.
  • Riverside: Charlene and A.K. Winter, who began their volunteer work when they worked at Quaker Oats, the school's business partner. After their retirement, they continued to volunteer.
  • Schwegler: Amy and Mark Wilson. Amy Wilson has served as carnival chairperson twice and is the PTA president. Mark Wilson works behind the scenes, helping make carnival games and providing technical assistance.
  • Sunflower: Betsy Farley and Alane Fraser, who are active in PTO activities, fund-raisers and classroom activities. Farley is in charge of the school carnival, and Fraser is PTO president.
  • Sunset Hill: Kristi Carlsen-Jewell, who has volunteered one-half day each week for each of her two children's teachers. She helps with clerical tasks and assists individual children in the school.
  • Wakarusa Valley: Mary Barnes, who has helped in many classrooms, anonymously financed various student needs, assisted during health screening days, helped with music productions, chaired the site council, and planted and watered playground trees.
  • Woodlawn: Cathy O'Keefe, who has served two years as PTO president. She also has been PTO treasurer, Lawrence Schools Area Council representative and Reading is Fundamental committee chairperson. She volunteers in classrooms.
  • Central Junior High School: Jeanette Armstrong, who has been active in Central's Parent Empowerment Project, assisting with Friday night gyms. She secured a $2,000 grant from Project Freedom for after-school programs. For two years, she has kept funding records for the Mustang Fun Run and is the school's representative to the Superintendent's Parent Advisory Council.
  • South Junior High School: Toni and Lori Hoover, Michael and Janice Hoover, and Deanie Hayes, who are O'Connell Youth Ranch parents and its director. The five are cooperative, supportive and involved in the lives of students living at the youth ranch. And they feed the staff with sweets every Thursday all year long.
  • Southwest Junior High School: Teri Winnie, who has coordinated many parent-supported projects, including monthly "birthday bashes" for seventh-graders and a schoolwide parent directory. She currently coordinates field trip sponsors, dance chaperones and classroom helpers for the eighth-grade classrooms.
  • West Junior High School: Marian Wilbur, a retired teacher, who volunteers at West in several capacities -- in the guidance office, library and office. She brings treats to the faculty and helps where needed.
  • Free State High School: Chris Heider and Cathy Lewis, who organized the Firebird Booster Club. The two represent all the many parents and friends who have helped out.
  • Lawrence Alternative High School: Gordon Brown, Kurt Henning and John Drees of Avalon Video who donated time, effort and equipment to help the school produce a video yearbook. They worked last year to instruct students in the use of video equipment, establish a web page and help students with interviews for the yearbook.
  • Lawrence High School: Lions Pride Parent Group, which was formed to support Lawrence High. The group's projects include putting up banners in the gymnasium to recognize state championships in athletics and plaques in the hall to recognize academic achievements.
  • Lawrence public schools, Wanda Williams, who was active during the two most recent bond issues the district passed and has contributed many hours and support to the Lawrence Schools Foundation. She also has volunteered for a number of school projects.

-- Caroline Trowbridge's phone message number is 832-7148. Her e-mail address is

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