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Parent Irene Padnos Named DUSD Volunteer of the Year

April 30, 2012

by Kerrie Chabot (parent)

Dublin Unified School District (DUSD) parents and staff were recently asked to nominate a deserving volunteer. It came as no surprise last week when Irene Padnos was announced winner.

Irene’s name begins with the letter “I” as does her “I will do it!” attitude. “Miss Irene” (as many DUSD parents and students refer to her) moved to Dublin from Chicago in 2000 and began her career as DUSD’s #1 volunteer at Dougherty Elementary School. At Dougherty, Irene was eager to get involved and make friends. She was room mom and on the hospitality committee for teachers. Irene explains she has a tendency to be shy, so volunteering allowed her to meet people. Carley Kennedy, a very popular teacher at John Green Elementary School who knows of Irene’s cheerful and constant availability says, “This is a very well deserved honor.”

Dublin has been fortunate to benefit from Irene’s talents and generosity at several schools. Irene, a mother of three children attending Dublin public schools, has served a Board position on the Parent Faculty Clubs at both Green and Fallon. She is known well for the thousands of dollars she helped raise by organizing Fallon’s very successful galas. Next year her children Nick, Alexa, and Eddie will study at three different public schools in Dublin, so Dublin will continue to prosper from Irene’s giving and untiring efforts. Melinda Reed describes her friend Irene as “someone who does everything and asks for nothing.”

Not only is Irene famous for her “I will do it” commitment, Irene also follows up and remembers to ask how the event turned out and for feedback on how to make it even more successful. “After an event comes to a close, I enjoy knowing we have accomplished something for the kids.” When I inquired about her favorite event, Irene mentioned volunteering at registration. “I love all of the personality types I get to work with.” With every job, there is a challenge. Irene said her greatest challenge is finding parents to chair the events at school. In regards to her position as Co-Director of Volunteers, she says “Asking for money and sponsorships can be very challenging. But asking for someone’s time is a more difficult task.”

When Irene isn’t on a school campus, she can also be found volunteering at Congregation Beth Emek in Pleasanton, and for the Dublin Girl Scouts.

We sincerely thank you, and congratulate you Miss Irene!

Below is the nomination letter that was submitted regarding Irene:

Irene Padnos – Parent Volunteer – Green Elementary School

Irene has been an active parent at Green Elementary since the school opened in 2007 and has served on the PFC board all 5 years.  First and foremost, Irene’s heart is with every student at Green Elementary School.  She strives to make our school a warm and welcoming place for all of our students and families.

Irene is the first to volunteer to help at Green.  She works hard to bring exciting opportunities to our students.  Irene coordinates every activity that needs volunteers.  She ensures that all volunteers have the necessary information required to run the various activities.  Irene is dedicated to supporting the students, teachers, and parents in the Green community.

Irene is extremely positive, always has a smile, and exemplifies a can do attitude.  She works tirelessly to find ways to support the school.  Irene can be seen on campus almost every day.  She will be the first to ask, “What can I do to help?”,  whether it is for a teacher in a classroom, a school event, or a student on the playground.

The following statements from teachers at Green exemplify why Irene Padnos is deserving of this recognition:

            “Green School would not be the same without Mrs. Irene Padnos.  She is simply amazing.”

            “As a parent volunteer at Green Elementary School, Irene Padnos has distinguished herself because of her untiring and enthusiastic support of parents and students.”

Dublin Unified School District’s annual Recognition Ceremony honored exceptional individuals from across the District. From the Board of Trustees Meeting Agenda:

The Board officially recognizes employees and volunteers who have demonstrated consistently notable achievement. The following employees and volunteers are commended and recognized for their contributions to the students, parents, staff and the school district community:

CERTIFICATED EMPLOYEES:
Kim Baumann – Science, Dublin High School
Sara Brown – Counselor, Wells Middle School
Liz Buckley – Counselor, Valley High School
Denise Fisher – 5th Grade, Murray Elementary School
Stacey Stein – EL/PLTW, Fallon Middle School
Kerstin Taugher – 2nd Grade, Green Elementary School
Jennifer Lea-Wischmeyer – French, Dublin High School

CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEES:
Linda Castro – Special Education Instructional Assistant, Frederiksen Elementary School
Sandy Chang-Yee – Media Technician, Wells Middle School
Pam Creekmore – Receptionist, District Office
Yvonne Jacquez – Secretary III, Kolb Elementary School
Guy Rose – Maintenance Crafts Worker/Locksmith, District Office

LEADERSHIP EMPLOYEES:
Rinda Bartley – Principal, Valley High School
Bill Branca – Assistant Principal, Dublin High School
Keith Nomura – Principal, Green Elementary School

VOLUNTEERS:
Jean Josey – Wells Middle School
Janet Lockhart – Dublin Partners in Education
Irene Padnos – Green Elementary School

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