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Taylor Volunteer Spotlight – Kelly Schwartz

When you think of a rock star, a throng of adoring fans comes to mind. If that’s the case, Kelly Schwartz is a rock star parent volunteer at Taylor. Whether she’s stuffing Friday folders, helping out with a classroom activity, delivering bags of food for the Backpack Buddies program, or organizing a major PTA fundraising event, Taylor teachers are big fans.

The mother of two Taylor students, Schwartz is a regular fixture at the school as both a parent volunteer and a much sought after substitute teacher. “She is always willing to go the extra mile”, says first grade teacher Lauren Lachewitz. “She is always positive and willing to help out our school. We are so lucky to have her!!”

Just one of her many volunteer activities at the school, Schwartz co-chairs the Backpack Buddies program, which provides weekend snacks and holiday meal packs for food-insecure Taylor students.  She helps with the inventory and ordering of  snacks, recruits volunteer help, and packs and delivers the bags around the school on Fridays. Zamir Bridgeman, Taylor’s school social worker, said that Schwartz is particularly good at communicating with her when a teacher approaches her about adding another student to the Backpack Buddies distribution list.

An active member of the PTA, this winter Schwartz planned the popular and highly successful PTA fundraising event DJ Dance Party. She managed volunteers, selected decorations, and set up the multi-purpose room to be a light-filled neon discotheque. And in spite of the fact that her two children were out of town that day and didn’t themselves attend the dance, she was there to make sure that everything went successfully the night of the event.

Teachers characterize her as someone who goes above and beyond, is always laughing and happy, flexible and caring. “Kelly Schwartz is the best parent volunteer”, says first grade teacher Jennifer Rachlin. Rachlin also noted that when Schwartz is subbing at the school, she will come ask if anyone needs help with anything during her planning time and offer to give the teachers a break by looking after their students at recess.

“What really stands out for me is her gracious and kind understanding of the work and time demands on a classroom teacher,” says Cris Richardson, a Taylor third grade teacher. “She really contributes to the values of the Taylor community with her gentle nature, reliability…and her unbelievable patience and kindness.”

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