KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
May 19, 2019
By Jennifer Miko
On Friday, May 17, the Partners in Education and the Volunteers in Public Schools (VIPS) Executive Board recognized the district’s thousands of volunteers at their annual celebration event.
The 2019 Katy ISD Volunteers of the Year.
The VIPS Celebration honored the volunteers who donate their time and talents to the district’s students and teachers. The Merrell Center still drew a large crowd, even after the event was rescheduled for severe weather that closed the district on May 10.
One of the most anticipated segments of the program were the announcements of each school’s 2019 Volunteer of the Year. Audience members were also entertained by the fine arts programs from McMeans and Tays junior highs as well as Paetow, Seven Lakes and Taylor high schools.
Volunteers Contribute to District's Success
For two decades, Rebecca Fox, Member, Katy ISD Board of Trustees, has attended the VIPS Celebrations. She noted that this year alone, the district's volunteers donated almost 850,000 hours - equivalent to having six teachers at every campus.
"Their service reveals the commitment our parents and community members have to support our students and teachers," says Fox. "Volunteers are such a vital part of the success of Katy ISD."
Administrators and volunteers from each Katy ISD school level filled the room. Many parents in attendance have regularly divided their time among several schools to volunteer. Rebecca Hery, who has one son at Bryant Elementary, one at WoodCreek Junior High and twin boys at Katy High School, attended the VIPS Celebration event for the first time. “So many wonderful things happen in Katy ISD that wouldn't be possible without volunteers,” says Hery. “It is important for the volunteers to be recognized and realize how valuable they are.”
Inspiring Guest Speaker
Keynote speaker, 18-year-old Aidan Thomas Anderson – "giver, speaker and musician," inspired the crowd. The co-founder of the charity Aidan Cares, now in its 11th year, has gained national and international attention. His organization’s mission is to encourage people to spread the joy and importance of giving by “partnering with nonprofits, communities, and individuals to magnify the good they want to see in the world.”
Anderson has inspired youth from more than 30 countries to start their own giving initiatives. The young man is dedicated to showing people, especially kids from all economic backgrounds, the incredible impact that can be achieved by serving others.
“I loved Aidan's comment about how volunteers are role models for future givers,” Hery says. “Kids need examples of people in their lives who give so that the next generation understands the value of it.”
Volunteers in Public Schools, a Katy ISD Partners in Education program, offers moms, dads, family and community members a wide variety of volunteer opportunities at their chosen campus. To learn more, visit the Partners in Education website or contact your campus Volunteer Coordinator.