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Ernesto Serna volunteer earns Heroes for Children state award

Heroes for Children state award

Yamile Gonzales, a parent volunteer at Ernesto Serna School, was selected for the 2016 Heroes for Children award by the Texas Board of Education for her outstanding service as a Team SISD volunteer.

Gonzales is one of 15 volunteers in Texas to receive the prestigious honor. The Heroes for Children award recognizes individuals for their contribution of time and effort to support public school students. She will be presented a certificate and resolution by the State Board of Education during a ceremony Sept. 16 in Austin.

“It’s an honor to represent my school and the Socorro district at the state level,” Gonzales said. “I’m in awe to have received this award, I really can’t believe it! I never expected to gain recognition, I just volunteer because I love it!”

The longtime volunteer was nominated for the state award after earning the 2016 SISD Volunteer of the Year honor.

“Our volunteer program would not be as successful as it is today without her strong leadership,” said Alejandro Olvera, campus principal. “Her efforts have earned her not only this award, but the respect and gratitude of those she serves…parents and students alike!”

Gonzales has been a volunteer at the school since 2001 and now serves as the Serna volunteer coordinator. She helps with scheduling meetings for staff, ensure logs and projects are completed in a timely manner, reads to the students, and assists teachers on a daily basis.

“I like to help to make it easier for others,” Gonzales said. “I enjoy being able to help teachers and school employees so that they can focus on the children, and provide them the best education possible!”

With Gonzales serving as the volunteer coordinator, Serna’s home-school connection is stronger than ever.

“We have seen a 20 percent increase in parental involvement with her assistance,” Olvera said. “Due to her positive and continuous interaction with parents we have gained additional parent volunteers.

Rachel Tarango, the district’s volunteer program coordinator, said Gonzales’s generosity to the students serves as a great model for everyone in the district.

“Yamile truly strengthens home, school and community partnerships,” Tarango said. “She goes above and beyond the call of duty by encouraging a positive culture within her volunteer group.”

Gonzales is the fourth SISD volunteer to win the Heroes for Children award, Tarango said. Past SISD volunteers to earn the award include Joe Ramirez, parent volunteer at Eastlake, community member Susan Hill, and Flor Gentry from Bill Sybert School.

“We are happy to support our volunteers,” Tarango said. “It’s a true partnership. They are a part of our team.”

Strategic Direction: Home, School, Community Partnerships