Shannon Lang, left, and Sue Ganser LevinsonPhoto courtesy of School District 65

Shannon Lang was honored as the 2019 Phyllis Ganser Outstanding PTA Volunteer of the Year at the District 65 School Board meeting on May 20.

The honor is given to a person who exhibits 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 award was presented by Sue Ganser Levinson, the sister of Phyllis Ganser. Quoting from the nomination of Ms. Lang, Ms. Levinson said, “Shannon is collaborative in everything she does, she will reach out to hear what people are feeling, truly listen to feedback and work in whatever way necessary to eliminate barriers to the participation in and enjoyment of the experience for families. She has worked tirelessly to improve communication between the school and the Dawes families.

“Shannon is a person who is always willing to lend a hand. Her willingness to respond to the call of duty is evidenced by the fact that she was willing to step mid-year into the role of PTA co-president when members of the PTA found themselves in need of new leadership. Shannon is the person at the PTA meeting who wants to make sure that everyone feels welcome and understands all the school terminology. Shannon’s energy is contagious and she has a natural ability to engage and include parents in the Dawes Community.

Ms. Levinson said the other nominees were all exceptional: Alicia Salinas, Amber Yancy-Carroll, Andreia Lando, Donna Su, Elaine Burns, Elizabeth Davies, Heather Sweeney, Sarah Liddell, Laurie Haverkamp, Rachel Coleman, Soo La Kim and Tracy Olasimbo.

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.