Six worthy volunteers who have given their time, expertise, and compassion to Amherst students were honored Monday with Crystal Apple Awards and cake.
The school board celebrated the contributions of Sarah Crosby, Sue Druga, Sherri Kamnikar, Sarah Kucbel, Diana Martin, and Susanne Naelitz.
Crosby serves as president of the PTO at Powers Elementary School. This year, the group donated more than $13,000 for the purchase of new iPads for students to use in class. The PTO also funded school parties.
Kucbel has also been heavily involved with the PTO and as a parent volunteer at Powers. Board members thanked her for her work on Amherst Schools levy campaigns, including serving as chair of the committee to renew the recent 4.9-mill issue on the primary ballot.
Druga has volunteered the past 28 years and is a past Crystal Apple winner. This time, she was recognized for outstanding contributions to the MLS Theatre Company. Druga helped launch the theater boosters group at Steele High School, serving as treasurer and laying the groundwork for thespians to thrive today. She has also kept kids in top-notch costumes through the years and supervised the annual Winter One-Acts.
Kamnikar has raised huge amounts of money for the Steele High School choral program. Her efforts have included running the concession stand at Comets football games; the stand now features thousands of dollars worth of new equipment thanks to Kamnikar and the choir boosters at no cost to taxpayers.
Martin has worked all year with third-graders at Harris Elementary School, offering kids help with writing, math, and projects. Teachers said Martin always pushes to help one more child or small group that needs a little extra guidance.
Naelitz is a longtime educator who, after a lengthy career at Powers Elementary, refused to leave education behind. She volunteers monthly in Mary Bartek’s fourth grade classroom, teaching writing.
Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.