■ Chronicle News Service
Our local schools cannot survive without parent volunteers. These parents, who in addition raise their families and often work outside the home, also help in the classroom, at school sporting events, School Site Council and Parent Teacher Organizations. Some schools are fortunate enough to have a few dedicated volunteers each school year, willing to do whatever is needed. Cottonwood School is lucky enough to have several of these dedicated parents, and Darel Hansen, Hemet Unified School District (HUSD) assistant superintendent, recently honored two of them with Good Apple awards.
Stephanie Gutierrez, mother of four children, has been an outstanding supporter of Cottonwood School, said HUSD Public Information Officer Alex Sponheim in a written release. Gutierrez has been an active parent member of the School Site Council for the last seven years, using her extensive knowledge of student needs to help develop plans for the school, said Sponheim. She also volunteers in many other areas, including Parent Teacher Organization events, organizing grade-level field trips and chaperoning events. She even became a clerical substitute for the district and not only accepts jobs at a moment’s notice, but she also fills whatever role is required. She is a true advocate for Cottonwood and the Aguanga community.
Natalie Ostler has demonstrated her dedication to Cottonwood School by always being available to assist, plan and execute projects and fundraisers. She is an active member of the Parent Teacher Organization and works hard to give students every opportunity possible, said Sponheim. Ostler donates food, water, and supplies to school-wide fundraisers and she also dedicates countless hours of volunteer time during and after the school day. Whether she is setting up, cooking, making signage, selling baked goods, or cleaning up, Cottonwood School can always depend on her. Often times when a volunteer has a lot on their plate at home, they have to cut back on time dedicated to the school. This is not the case with Ostler. She continues to bring a smiling face and a helping hand to Cottonwood School.