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Aleca Sullivan, a mother of students at Washington and Nichols schools, and Ellen Schwarzbach, a mother of students at Chute School and Evanston Township High School, were presented the 2010 Phyllis Ganser Outstanding PTA Voluteers of the Year award at the District 65 School Board meeting on May 17. They were selected “for their exceptional contributions” to their children’s schools and the community, said Sue Ganser Levinson in presenting the awards.

Ms. Levinson said some comments made by persons who nominated Ms. Sullivan included, “I don’t know where to begin about Aleca’s tireless involvement at Washington School, … Aleca is always the voice of empathy and compassion,  … She volunteers in the classroom, attends meetings, responds to emails, helps out on school-wide projects, and stops by the principal’s office with issues to discuss. … She is able to take charge without bulldozing.”

Some comments made by persons who nominated Ms. Schwarzback included, “Ellen … determines where she can be effective, then joins in and works, …She likes being a volunteer and gives other volunteers space and autonomy, … Ellen is a dynamic and highly skilled leader because of her vision, compassion and heart driven energy, …Ellen exemplifies what it means to be a volunteer.”

Other outstanding volunteers nominated this year were: Liz Stone, Arlene Sagan, Cecelia Wallin, Regina Wootton, Anne Honzel, Marge Morris, Mindy Wallis, Jean Fies, Nancy McNamara, and Kathleen Rauth.

This award was established to honor the memory of Phyllis Ganser, a dedicated PTA volunteer. Each year, the award committee solicits nominees from District 65 PTAs and the District 202 PTSA who exhibit a commitment to the PTA goal of promoting the welfare of all school children, a willingness to work in any capacity (even behind the scenes), a spirit and enthusiasm for volunteer work, and a demonstrated ability to engage and involve other volunteers.