DoDEA Pacific names 2016 Volunteer Excellence Award recipients

DoDEA Pacific names 2016 Volunteer Excellence Award recipients

by Lawrence Torres III
DoDEA Pacific

OKINAWA, Japan — DoDEA Pacific Director Ms Lois Rapp recently announced the selection of the 2016 DoDEA Pacific Volunteer Excellence Award winners.

The annual DoDEA Pacific Volunteer Excellence Awards program recognizes significant volunteer contributions to the DoDEA mission of educating, engaging and empowering each student to succeed in a dynamic world. Nominees are considered through a formal and competitive selective process with winners named to the following categories:

•    Individual Volunteer: provided exceptional service and support to their community school(s)

•    Military Individual, Unit, or Command: provided exceptional service and support to their community school(s)

The selectees for school year 2015-2016:

Individual Volunteer Excellence Award (Area-level):
Roland Quitugua (Guam District) Andersen Elementary School volunteer

Individual Volunteer Excellence Award (District-level):  
Crystal Butterworth (Okinawa District) Stearley Heights Elementary School volunteer

Individual Volunteer Excellence Award (School level):
Kimberly Brooks  (Korea District) Seoul American High School Parent Teacher Organization Apparel Co-Chairperson and President

Military Individual, Unit/Commander Excellence Award (Area-level):
US Navy Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman Fred Turner (Okinawa District) III Marine Expeditionary Force

Nominations are made each spring by school administrators and forwarded to the DoDEA Pacific area office for final review and selection.  Award recipients must be approved by DoDEA Pacific senior leaders after careful consideration of the nominees’ total contributions and substantive impact on their respective school communities. The distinguished and enduring efforts made by the selected volunteers are testaments to what caring individuals can achieve through kindness, commitment, and collaboration.

Individual Volunteer Excellence Award (Area-level):
Roland Quitugua, University of Guam Extension Researcher, was selected for the Individual Volunteer Excellence Award for supporting the DoDEA Guam District’s Andersen Elementary School’s Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) initiative, providing students multiple opportunities to interact with a STEAM professional. Quitugua has spent two years mentoring teachers and pre-Kindergarten to fifth-grade students about the devastating Guam coconut tree destruction by the coconut rhinoceros beetle, encouraging them to think of solutions.

“Roland Quitugua’s willingness to build knowledge and support the teaching and learning has created teacher and student environmental stewards,” said DoDEA Guam District Superintendent Dr. Steven Bloom. “His efforts to promote STEAM is commendable and has enabled our students to see connections of mathematical and science concepts to real-world application.”

Individual Volunteer Excellence Award (District-Level):  
Crystal Butterworth was selected for the Individual Volunteer Excellence Award for her countless contributions of service and support as a Stearley Heights Elementary School volunteer in Okinawa. She found time to assist the faculty, staff and students nearly every day and helped modernize the library, increasing product circulation 148 percent since August 2013.

“The operation of the library is very labor-intensive and several of the programs I have implemented have significantly added to the workload, but with Butterworth’s help, the operation of the library has exceeded all expectations,” said Pamela Westbrook, Stearley Heights ES information specialist. “She has positively contributed due to her ability to learn quickly, be self-directed and innovative.”

Individual Volunteer Excellence Award (School level):
Kimberly Brooks was selected for the Volunteer Excellence Award for selfless and dedicated service to the students and staff of DoDEA Korea District’s Seoul American High School. Her work as the Seoul American HS Apparel Co-Chairperson and Parent Teacher Student Organization (PTSO) President made an impact on the lives of students and families.

During the 2014-15 school year, Brooks’ raising of more than $19,000 for the PTSO, combined with her amazing efforts, helped develop new products, utilize higher quality clothing and develop original and imaginative designs which excited students and engendered pride in the school and throughout the community.

During 2015-16 school year, her leadership helped the PTSO raise more than $30,000 to support 28 events and initiatives ranging from Far East sports, music and arts competitions to classroom supplies. Additionally, the group was able to establish, for the first time, a series of five scholarships to recognize graduating seniors for their achievements in the areas of sports, fine art, JROTC and academics.

Military Individual, Unit, Command Excellence Award, (Area-level):
Senior Chief Hospital Corspman (HMCS) Fred Turner, Senior Enlisted Leader, III Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group, earned the Military Individual Command Excellence Award for providing exceptional dedication, support and contributions for Bechtel Elementary School and communities on Okinawa.

Turner made a significant impact at Bechtel’s annual health screening which involved a vision and hearing test for Kindergarten, First, Second and Fourth graders. He participated and organized all the volunteers and was instrumental in keeping the process running smoothly and efficiently.

Turner also participated and organized volunteers for the PTO and Diabetes association fundraising event held at Camp Courtney in January 2014. It was an event held not only for Bechtel ES staff, parents and students, but it was also a fulfilling event that was supported by the community.

“Turner’s professionalism was apparent in every aspect of the services he provided,” said Scott Tefft, Bechtel ES principal. “Positive outcomes ensued in the student’s health and academic performances.”

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