“Our country was founded by volunteers, by people who gave service,” said Dr. Stanley Rose, Superintendent of the Santa Clara Unified School District. “It’s never been more important, in my opinion and in my experience as an educator, that that sense of service and commitment to our community is emphasized, celebrated and recognized for the importance that it is.”
On April 10, the Santa Clara Unified School District recognized two student volunteers and one adult volunteer from each of its schools at its 35th Public School Week Awards held at the Mission City Center for Performing Arts. Receiving this year’s Public School Week Awards were 52 students and 26 adults.
Andrew Littlefield, 11, was one of the student honorees. A fifth-grade student at Sutter Elementary School, Littlefield enjoys helping out on campus.
“I put up the flag every morning,” Littlefield said. “Pretty much in the morning whenever I arrive at school, I get the kids who are there. Together, we put clips on washers on the flag and we lift the flag up. I also help out by taking out the ball carts. I also do safety patrol. I also help set up Froggy Friday where we recognize student achievement at a weekly school assembly. It’s mainly about taking out the smaller flags, setting up cones so people don’t step over the wires and setting up the speakers so we can hear everyone who’s speaking.”
Another student recognized was Abigail Romero, 18, a senior at Wilson High School. Right now, Romero is also attending Silicon Valley Career Technical Education in San Jose with hopes to be a dental assistant, and someday, a dentist. In the Fall, she will be attending De Anza College.
“This year I was the Vice President of the school’s Spirit and Leadership Club. The Spirit and Leadership Club organizes everything from fundraisers to the end-of-the-year graduation party for the seniors,” Romero said. “I also got a chance to talk to TOSAs (Teachers On Special Assignments) on behalf of Wilson at a meeting. I gave a presentation on my experience transitioning from the regular high school to Wilson.”
Jeannette Weedermann, a mother of two students at Buchser Middle School, was a parent honoree. Working with the school community, Weedermann spearheaded a number of projects to brighten the school’s appearance, which included planting and maintaining lavender and poppy plants and painting a four square court.
“After painting the four square court with traffic paint, we used that paint to paint a garbage can,” Weedermann said. “We talked to students about designs we should do on the garbage cans, whether it’s about recycling or loving the earth. Three or four kids would work on a trash bin. First, they applied the base coat, and then they would apply colors. I’d made stencils with the globe shape and then with the three arrows in the recycling symbol for the kids to paint over.”
Weedermann used the leftover paint and worked with the school’s Associated Student Body to paint kindness messages throughout campus, such as, “Random acts of kindness cost nothing but bring the greatest reward.”