Lorrie Wernick, principal of Montague Elementary School, remembers when John Markum, parent and site council president, hosted a yo-yo assembly to teach the students yo-yo tricks. Since then, Wernick nominated John Markum and his wife, PTA president Tiffany Markum, for a 2016 Public School Week Award. The Markums, with other selected parent volunteers and students from over two dozen schools in the Santa Clara Unified School District, gathered at the Santa Clara High School auditorium for an April 26 ceremony. Here, each nominee of a 2016 Public School Week Award received a certificate and water bottle.
“We all have either time, a talent or treasure that we can give to the betterment of our community,” says district superintendent Stan Rose in his opening remarks. Then he introduced the school board members who were present.
Honored parents expressed gratitude for their recognition and shared about their volunteer work.
“The Sixth Grade Zone is a weekly get-together during recess I started to foster friendships for the incoming sixth graders from the four feeder elementary schools- George Mayne, Kathryn Hughes, Montague and Don Callejon,” says Ciara Balagot, a parent with Don Callejon School.
“My favorite volunteering is working toward making the Braly community more inclusive of our students with autism and making sure they have the support and adaptations they need,” says Joo Yiu, a parent with Braly Elementary School.
“I like volunteering by being in the classroom, working with the kids and chaperoning at field trips,” says Brett McLarney, a parent with Washington Open Elementary School.
Two students from each school received recognition.
Stan Garber, principal of Cabrillo Middle School, expects “wondrous things” from his school’s award recipients, Jamie Dy and Jonathan Vergonio, both eighth grade students.
“It makes me proud to know I’ve made a difference in my school,” Dy says. “Here at Cabrillo, I’ve helped to organize spirit day, the regular lunch time contests and I’m organizing a talent show.”
“It’s amazing to see the recognition given to other students, and I think about how to apply their skills and abilities to my lifestyle,” Vergonio says. “I’m also in the leadership class and I monitor the Tech and Charity Committee. We have fundraised for breast cancer awareness.”
“It feels good to have people saying nice things about you,” says Anna Kunze, a fifth grade student at Washington Open Elementary School. “[The people who nominated me] said I have good academic scores and that I shouldn’t be underestimated. They also talked about my community service in tech support.”
“I’m on time for my classes, I get my work done and I try to be kind and friendly to everyone,” says Wilcox High School senior Joseph Bowles, who is on his school’s football and track teams and student council. “It’s good to know people recognize you. I don’t usually think I stand out too much.”