Hall of Leaders - Volunteers

Bondi Wood

Lynnanne Baumgardner

Amy and Rob Myers

It’s unusual to have a husband and wife both nominated the same year, but wonderful that both parents are so totally immersed in volunteering for our schools and that this commitment was certainly beneficial to Columbia.

Amy has, among her many volunteer activities, been chairman of book fairs. She is responsible for putting books in the hands of nearly 800 students so all children could participate.

Rob worked tirelessly to complete plans for an outdoor classroom and plant over 100 trees, plants and samples of native vegetation. He always involved the children in the process.

They both say that ”education is the foundation of success in our society and the Columbia Public Schools provide the cornerstone of learning for our children. We are so grateful for the efforts of CPS teachers, administration, and other volunteers in fostering an excellent system of public education, and we also are grateful for having the opportunity to be a small part of that.”

Kate Harry

Kate said, “while I intended my volunteer service at the schools to benefit the students and teachers, I have been rewarded with lasting friendships with other parent volunteers, an awareness of how much our CPS personnel care about their students and an appreciation of community support for our public school system.”

A friend said, “Kate has been devoted to making the schools in this district better for all students. She has been actively and consistently involved for over 20 years.”

Cheri Ghan

Cheri “has gone above and beyond what would be expected of a parent…the volunteer of all volunteers,” her nomination letter said.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to have seen first-hand the incredible commitment of our teachers, administrators and other staff who have dedicated their professional lives to educating our students,” said Cheri, “What a privilege it has been to work with others for a common purpose, to make a difference in the lives of children.”

Denise Boyd

Denise started volunteering with Columbia Public Schools shortly after moving to Columbia with her young daughter.

She loved being involved while sharing school experiences with her daughter and her friends; plus she made some good friends along the way. She feels it’s rewarding to feel like you’ve made a difference in some small way.

A friend said, “when Denise undertakes any project it is guaranteed that the community will find a large piece of her personality in the outcome.”

Diane Rubenstein

Currently operates private law practice in Columbia.

Committed to the improvement of many programs within the district, such as raising money to fund the artificial turf at Rock Bridge and improvements to the practice soccer and football fields, baseball/softball complex, and weight room.

Described as a visionary with a dynamic, magnetic personality with the ability to convince others to help implement ideas, for example, the “For the Love of the Game” dinner and auction which has raised thousands of dollars for Rock Bridge High School athletics.

Volunteered in every CPS classroom that her children attended.

Served on the Columbia Public Schools Foundation Board and was instrumental in starting the Teacher Recognition Program.

Respected for high energy level, leadership skills, and commitment to CPS.

Lisa Reed

Currently enjoying homemaking and volunteering for her church and Kiwanis.

Described as the consummate volunteer in the CPS including Russell Boulevard Elementary, Smithton Middle School, West Junior High, Hickman, and Rock Bridge High Schools.

Was instrumental in building a foundation and structure for success for the “For the Love of the Game” dinner and auction which has raised thousands of dollars for Rock Bridge High School athletics.

Provided leadership for PTAs, volunteered in school offices and lunchrooms and supervised playgrounds.

Demonstrated outstanding leadership and organizational skills as banquet and events chair for athletic activities and volunteer assistant athletic director (one year).

Serves on the district-wide Long Range Planning Committee and the High School Redistricting Committee.

Served on the Columbia Public Schools Foundation Board.

LaVonne Mattson

Currently works weekly in the office at Grant Elementary and in the Hickman High School Guidance office; has also volunteered in the Smithton Elementary office

Volunteered weekly since 1992 in the schools her two local grandchildren attended providing support for them, their teachers, and classmates

Was known affectionately as “Ms. Honey” in a first-grade classroom at Grant Elementary

Recognized regularly in Columbia by a classmate of a grandchild, someone she touched as Ms. Honey or an administrator or teacher whom she helped

Elton Fay

Currently practices law in Columbia and Centralia with Grimes, Fay, and Kopp law firm.

Served as a member of the CPS Board of Education from 1994-2006 including serving as vice president and president; emphasized decision-making based on what was considered best for students, teachers, administrators, and community.

Championed higher pay for teachers while insisting that the district be fiscally prudent.

Spent thousands of hours as a CPS volunteer in his children’s schools.

Served Missouri Boy’s State for 42 years as a board member, trustee, and counselor.

Continues to be an advocate for youth as a sponsor/mentor for Haitian students attending colleges/universities in the United States.

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