Liz Webster and Margaret Mackay were honored as the 2017 Phyllis Ganser Outstanding PTA Volunteers of the Year at the May 22 District 65 School Board meeting.
The honor is given to those 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 an ability to engage and involve other volunteers.
The awards were presented by Sue Ganser Levinson, the sister of Phyllis Ganser. She said, “Ms. Webster is a parent at Dewey and Nichols. One of her nominators says: ‘Liz is always present. She is present in the way she mindfully interacts with kids and families, but she is also always present at school doing whatever is needed, loading in mulch on a Saturday, advising the PTA team on fundraising, talking to kids in the Edible Garden or helping Mr. Keighati with a project that he knows she will handle with poise and grace.’”
“Margaret Mackay is a Lincolnwood parent,” said Ms. Levinson. “Margaret has done her best to make sure all families feel like they are welcome, valued, cherished members of the community. One truly heart-warming story about Margaret is that in an email to parents encouraging families to attend a potluck, ‘she relayed how potlucks are about community, about sitting down at a shared table, getting to know each other and recognizing each other.’ Margaret is described as a ‘shining example of an engaged and passionate District 65 parent volunteer.’”
Ms. Levinson said the other nominees were all exceptional. They are Sophie Carlisle, Elaine Darer, Tracey Denlow, Jodie Ford, Cathy Heldt, Karen Kaiser, Andrea Mainelli, Jill Miller, Bridget Nelson, Keith Robinson, Heather Sweeney, and Joyce Van Overmeiren.
The Ganser award was established to honor the memory of Phyllis Ganser, an outstanding PTA volunteer. At the time of her death in January 2000, Ms. Ganser had children at Walker School, Chute Middle School and Evanston Township High School.