LRHSD Students and Parents Recognized for Commitment to Service
Students and Parents Honored at Board of Education Volunteer Appreciation Night on May 22nd
The Lenape Regional High School District (LRHSD) Board of Education hosted its annual Volunteer Appreciation Night on May 22nd where students and parents from each high school were recognized for their commitment to serving others. The ceremony included a video highlighting the work of each student honoree and brief remarks by a representative from each high school about their respective parent volunteer.
“These award recipients have demonstrated a commitment and dedication toward service and volunteerism, as well as leadership that truly inspires others to do the same in their own communities,” said LRHSD Assistant Superintendent Matthew Webb.
Students awarded for service are seniors Gabrielle Roberts from Seneca High School, Jacob Delancy from Shawnee High School, Cyndi-Lea (Mia) Miller from Lenape High School and Caroline Small from Cherokee High School. All of the students also received scholarships provided by Goodwill Industries.
Gabrielle Roberts has been a leader in Seneca’s Peer Training Program. This Anti- Defamation League program promotes an appreciation of diversity and respect at Seneca. She has also participated in Thanksgiving drives to assist less fortunate families and volunteered for Distributing Dignity, a program that supports underserved women who are victims of domestic violence.
Jacob Delancy’s Eagle Scout project was at the YMCA Camps in Medford where he coordinated more than 40 volunteers to donate a combined 200 hours of service. They collectively restored Cherokee Beach with 25 tons of beach sand, built a new boat rack, and cleaned up winter debris. He is also a member of the Medford Township’s Neighborhood Services Advisory Committee, where he helps construct their e-newsletters and welcome kits for new community members. Additionally, he volunteers for the Medford Youth Athletic Association’s track program.
Cyndi-Lea (Mia) Miller was a student leader at Lenape’s Challenge Day, a program designed to promote inclusivity and a positive school culture. She also volunteers with special needs students and organized a letter-writing campaign to recognize Special Education teachers. As part of Mia’s Foundations of Leadership Class at Lenape, she participated in Operation Santa, a program that provides gifts for children during the holiday season. Mia also supports her community as a teen leader with the Quixote Quest Teen Volunteer Club.
Caroline Small has engaged in numerous acts of service both in and out of school. She has taken mission trips with her church to different states, where she has built wheelchair ramps for people with disabilities, refurbished impoverished schools in inner cities and helped make repairs to farms. Caroline also volunteers at the Cathedral Soup Kitchen in Camden and started a sign language club at Cherokee.
The parent volunteers recognized for their service are Lory Cole, David Gutwirth, Debbie and Steve Huffnagle, and Mark Jasinski.
Lory Cole has given so much of herself to benefit the students of Lenape High School. She has been described by Boys Lacrosse Coach Bill Sutphin as “the engine that makes so many off-the-field elements of the program run.” She has spent countless hours throughout her children’s athletic careers assisting the Lenape football and lacrosse programs. It would not be uncommon to find Mrs. Cole planning events for the boys lacrosse team, organizing rosters, setting up senior day activities, or helping to fundraise for the booster program. No job is too big or too small for Mrs. Cole because she is committed to doing all she can for our young people. She cares about every player and their family at the highest level.
David Gutwirth has volunteered for anything and everything. He was the reason that pizza started being served to the entire Shawnee Marching Band before football games on Fridays. Mr. Gutwirth has hosted gatherings so the music students could get quickly acclimated and have a sense of belonging, towed the equipment truck for every event, made props for the marching band show, and ran every craft fair for the past several years. He has even volunteered to continue helping out once his son graduates this year.
Debbie and Steve Huffnagle selflessly transformed their tragedy into a positive learning experience for Cherokee students. They approached the school to ask what they could do to avoid another family from experiencing the same loss. In conjunction with Lenape District Television and the district’s Not Even Once program, they shared their son’s battle with addiction and created an honest, unrestricted video account of his struggle. The Huffnagles’ story is poignant because it has a direct connection to our local community. The video has become part of the Senior Health Curriculum and will impact many lives now and for years to come.
Mark Jasinski plays an important role behind the scenes that benefits many of Seneca High School’s student-athletes and athletic programs. As part of Seneca’s football booster club, the 12th Man Club, Mr. Jasinski plans opportunities that honors the students for their success both on and off the field. Additionally, he honors Seneca staff members, community members including first responders and emergency personnel, and other important people who help enrich our students’ lives. This award is well-deserved and well- earned because of the countless hours Mr. Jasinski puts in for our Seneca Family.
“These individuals selflessly give their time and energy in support of others. We know that they do not seek, nor expect, recognition for their service, but we are honored to highlight their efforts and accomplishments,” said LRHSD Superintendent Carol Birnbohm, Ed.D. “Their leadership helps strengthen our district’s culture of civic engagement, because they inspire others to follow in their footsteps and incorporate service into their everyday lives.”
Photo 1: Student Volunteers Photo (pictured left to right):
Rick Miller (accepting award for his daughter Cyndi-Lea Miller), Caroline Small, Jacob Delancy, Gabrielle Roberts
Photo 2: Parent Volunteers Photo (pictured left to right):
Steve and Debbie Huffnagle, David Gutwirth, Mark Jasinski Not pictured: Lory Cole