Cedar Rapids school district honors 32 who lend a hand

Tomi Fuchs named 2017 Outstanding District Volunteer

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CEDAR RAPIDS — A woman who cooks and serves up breakfast each month at Nixon Elementary School in Hiawatha has been named the 2017 Outstanding District Volunteer by the Cedar Rapids Community School District.

Tomi Fuchs is one of 32 volunteers inducted into the district’s Volunteer Hall of Fame during a program Monday at the district’s Educational Leadership and Support Center, 2500 Edgewood Road NW.

The volunteers — representing each school — are among the nearly 7,000 community members who support students and staff through their volunteer contributions, district officials said in a news release. Last year, school volunteers contributed more than 137,000 hours, the release states.

When she’s not running the monthly breakfast for students, parents and teachers, Fuchs also helps around the school with tasks like popping popcorn, passing out papers or running supplies to where they are needed, Dorry Ross, early childhood teacher at Nixon Elementary, 200 Nixon Drive, said in a video prepared for the event.

“Tomi is a machine,” said Ross. “She is willing to take on any job or help that you need. Whatever you need, Tomi is always there.

“We wouldn’t be able to do half the things this school does, especially for the students, without her.”

Amber Tatum, a third-grade teacher at Nixon, used three simple phrases to sum up Fuchs.

“Amazing. Super mom. Super woman,” she said.

In the video, Fuchs said she gives back because she is grateful for what the school gives to her children.

“It makes me feel like I’m giving back when all the teachers give to my kids all the time,” she said. “If I can do one thing to make their day a little bit better to see a smile on somebody’s face, then my day is good.”

Fuchs said any amount of volunteer time is important.

“It’s much needed. The teachers love the help. Can be as little as 10 minutes, an hour, anything. Just everything is needed.

“ ... If I can give them just that one moment where they’re like, ‘Oh, I’m under control, I’ve got that, somebody else is taking care of it,’ ... they have that time to make sure that all those kids are engaging and learning and being take of.”

OUTSTANDING BUILDING VOLUNTEERS

Here is a list of all the volunteers honored Monday by the Cedar Rapids Community School District:

Pete Larson — Arthur Elementary.

Kathy Kaufman — Cleveland Elementary.

Susan Cano — Coolidge Elementary.

Jennifer Patterson — Erskine Elementary.

Jenifer Vick — Garfield Elementary.

Edwin Sevcik — Grant Elementary.

Wendy Marner — Grant Wood Elementary.

l Cindy Miller — Harrison Elementary.

l Jan Lesan — Hiawatha Elementary.

l Valerie Neubauer — Hoover Elementary.

l Amy Bower — Jackson Elementary.

l Heather and Dan Anderegg — Johnson STEAM Academy Magnet School.

l Jean Murray — Kenwood Leadership Academy Magnet School.

l Shawnee Owens — Madison Elementary.

l Tomi Fuchs — Nixon Elementary.

l Rebecca Jasper — Pierce Elementary.

l Sherril Walter-Glass — Taylor Elementary.

l Christine Hodel — Truman Elementary.

l Jeff Foster — Van Buren Elementary.

l Gary Van Middlesworth — Viola Gibson Elementary.

l Margaret Debner — Wright Elementary.

l Paul Salamon — Franklin Middle.

l Laura Grams — Harding Middle.

l Ann Freeman — McKinley Middle.

l Mary Young — Roosevelt Middle.

l Bridget Ferry — Taft Middle.

l Melissa Walker — Wilson Middle.

l Lisa Dlouhy — Jefferson High.

l Terry Chostner — Kennedy High.

l Richard Dean — Metro High.

l Jane Hutchins — Washington High.

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