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Setaro named district’s Youth Volunteer of Year

By Staff | Feb 7, 2012

Although she’s only in sixth grade, a Cape girl has been voted one of the top three volunteers in all of Lee County schools.

Cape Coral resident Gabrielle Setaro was named Lee County School District’s Outstanding Youth Volunteer for 2011/2012 year.

A student at Challenger Middle School, she reports early every morning to Skyline Elementary to mentor fifth grade students there.

“She’s an amazing young lady,” said Skyline Elementary Principal Charles Vilardi. “Among other things, she helps out in our newsroom every morning helping to put out our news show and gives cues to the students on where they need to be.

“She’s kind, compassionate and very understanding of our students needs. We are very glad to have her.”

Setaro was nominated by Skyline teacher Heather Watt, a fifth grade teacher who taught the student last year.

“Gabby does so much to help in our classroom,” Watt said. “Her hard work and creativity inspires my current students.”

In her nomination letter, Watt outlined more of Setaro’s activities.

“She generously donates her time daily for grading papers, helping students, organizing supplies and playing a supervisory role in the school’s news crew. She’s consistently cheerful, upbeat and ready to go. I hope that Gabby’s example will inspire many of my current students to consider volunteering at a school or in another area of need.”

“I really like volunteering, it really makes me feel good,” Setaro said. “I like the students and I know most of the teachers because I went to school at Skyline.”

Her mother, Lorry Ann Setaro, said, “I feel very proud. I like the fact she likes helping other people. She’s an absolutely dedicated volunteer.”

These individuals work tirelessly, said school spokespersons, to make sure local students have the best educational experience possible.

“These individuals help teachers and students in classrooms at all grade levels and on the athletic fields, and they work on projects at home,” said Linda Montgomery, district volunteer coordinator for Lee County schools. “They assist in the front office, the Media Center, the lunchroom – wherever there is a need, you’ll find a volunteer.

“These volunteers are giving up their time, and touch the lives of our students. They truly make a difference in our schools and our community.”

That is especially true of the top three, including Setaro, she said.

“Each year, the Florida Department of Education invites districts to nominate outstanding school volunteers in the categories of seniors 62+, adults 21 to 61, and youths 20 and under. Selections are made from a large group of volunteers.”

The other two top volunteers are North Fort Myers resident Patricia Breeding, Outstanding Senior Volunteer, and Troy Miller of Spring Creek Elementary as top Adult Volunteer.

Sometime this month, a regional top volunteer will be chosen, Montgomery said.