Radio techs at Sisters Schools Volunteers Appreciation Night. photo by Jerry Baldock
Radio techs at Sisters Schools Volunteers Appreciation Night. photo by Jerry Baldock

"It is my privilege to recognize our volunteers and organizations that make our schools and community a great place to live and learn," said Sisters Schools Superintendent Jim Golden as he addressed roughly 80 volunteers at a Recognition of Volunteers event held in the Sisters High School commons Wednesday night. Golden hopes to make the recognition an annual event.

Fourteen organizations were recognized for their contributions to the Sisters school community.

"I can say having traveled around the state of Oregon as an ESD director, and having worked in Crook County and Portland Public and starting a large private nonprofit in Portland, I've never seen a community so engaged in its schools," said Golden. "The reason that we continue to get better is all of those sitting in front of us. We current have 1,000 approved volunteers in our community. That is pretty unheard-of."

School board chair Don Hedrick said, "I just want you to know that it is an honor for me to be part of this group. I've been around in a several different school districts in Illinois and in Oregon. This community is more involved and more helpful with more volunteers than any place I've ever been, and any place that I know of. It is really a privilege for me to be part of this."

The volunteer groups were recognized individually, and the leadership of each group was invited to say a few words. At the close of the meeting, the assembled group had the option of a spaghetti dinner provided by the Outlaw Booster Club (honorees) or "goodies" provided by T.R. McCrystal's culinary class.

Sisters Science Club co-founder Bob Collins (honoree) took a shot a summarizing the motivation of the wide breadth of school volunteers in Sisters.

"Why are we all here tonight?" asked Collins, "There are several easy answers. Everybody's brain loves a new idea and loves a new question. But I think the real reason that we are here tonight is that all of us, we have a shared value that we want to pass back with enthusiasm to the children of this school system and the people of this community."

The organizations honored included the Sisters Schools Foundation, the Sisters Science Club, Sisters Folk Festival, the Graduate Resource Organization (GRO), radio station KZSO 94.9, the Seed to Table program, the Sisters Parent Teachers Club (SPTC), the Sisters Outlaw Booster Club, the SMART Readers program, Circle of Friends, Pursue Your Passion entrepreneur class, Aspire, The Roundhouse Foundation, and The Nugget.