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Outstanding school volunteers named, Pelican’s Mason among them

By Staff | Jan 30, 2010

Next month the Lee County School Board will recognize three volunteers for their outstanding work in the district.
The Florida Department of Education asks schools each year to submit nominations for outstanding volunteers in one of three categories: youth, adults, and seniors.
Out of five regions statewide, the Southwest Florida region announced three of its outstanding volunteers that will be officially recognized by the school board on Feb. 9. The volunteers are Isaiah Dunham, youth volunteer at Colonial Elementary; Lorraine Mason, adult volunteer at Pelican Elementary and Jean Hutchings, senior volunteer at Orange River Elementary.
Linda Montgomery, volunteer coordinator for the school district, said the regions announce their outstanding volunteers and the contest continues to the state level.
“I will send out the applications and encourage all the schools, including charters, to submit their outstanding volunteers,” she said.
A selections committee looks at nominations and chooses one in each category based on the total hours of service, years of service, duties performed, leadership roles and the impact on students and schools, she said.
A narrative is included with each application packet and Montgomery said there were a lot of remarkable stories attached with each volunteer.
“We do try to be very objective about our grading,” she said.
Lorraine Mason moved to Lee County from England three years ago, and her children attend Pelican Elementary. She works as a photographer and schedules her business around volunteering at the school.
“I was thrilled to get it, I’m a shy person so I like to stay in the background,” said Mason. “I didn’t know about it until I got it.”
Mason said she didn’t have the time to volunteer until after moving to Lee County, and now she is at the school as often as possible helping in the media center, creating the yearbook, and assisting in kindergarten or third grade classrooms.
“I’m here every day doing something,” she said.
Pelican Elementary Principal Richard Ivill said he was very excited that Mason was recognized as an outstanding volunteer.
“She does a fantastic job,” he said. “Anything you ask, she goes above and beyond that.”
Ivill said that Mason recently took over control of the school’s yearbook. She takes pictures and organizes the book.