At June’s Board Meeting longtime volunteer Aimee Thompson, of Newport, was surprised with the honor of receiving the annual Tom Moore Memorial Award. Named for a former school board member and volunteer, this award has been given since 1993 to the individual(s) who best exemplifies the volunteer spirit.
We asked Aimee if she’d share a little about her experience as a volunteer.
How did you become involved as a volunteer with the Lincoln County School District?
“I started volunteering by committing to help with reading groups in my eldest daughter’s 1st-grade classroom. Not only did my daughter struggle with reading, so were many kids as her class size was large and reading levels were all over the place. I would help with leading a certain level reading group one morning a week, while my Mother-in-law watched my two younger kids.
The Lincoln County School District has come a long way in aligning curriculum, training, school culture and more, since our girls were first enrolled. There were things I thought needed changing so I became involved. I wanted to learn more about how the schools function and how I could contribute.
I also became very involved in Boosters because I felt our kids needed more fun activities connected with the school – carnivals, school concerts, field days and more. Some of those things weren’t happening because the District had cut PE and Music teachers. Boosters organized a school concert and many parents filled the High School gym! The Boosters worked hard and for several years we consistently had 500 kids, plus their parents, attending. If kids have positive experiences like that, it improves how they feel about school. I also come from a family of educators, so I always knew I was going to be volunteering in the schools because schools are the heart of the community and schools are where I believe we can make the most positive changes for our country and the world.”
Please, tell about one of your favorite moments you’ve experienced as a volunteer.
“Gosh, there are so many great moments associated with volunteering. The thing I love most is that I’m a constant presence for many of my kids’ classmates. They’ve known me to be in the classroom since the very beginning and we have a strong connection. Many of them stop and tell me how well they’re doing in school, what they’re up to, or more recently how “green” they’re being. I adore that! I’m glad I can be a positive figure in their life. I’ve made some huge connections coaching and received some of the most heartfelt letters and thank you’s from the girls I’ve coached. Those notes bring me to tears and I’ve kept them all.”
Do you have any advice for someone considering becoming a volunteer for the schools?
“My advice for someone who is considering volunteering in the schools is to do it, of course! It has given me great perspective about the makeup of our community, what challenges our District, getting to know the staff and teachers at my daughter’s school and how we can help them most to give the kids an excellent educational experience. That perspective has guided me in facilitating a lot of positive outcomes which have directly impacted kids, their quality of learning, and unforgettable experiences. I feel strongly that supporting out kids in a positive way will lift-up our community and our world.
During our school years, I believe a student can have an enriching experience which can change the course of their life whatever background they’re coming from. You might never know how big of an impact you make, but just knowing it’s a possibility is enough for me.”
Here is her nomination submission from the West Area (Newport) Administration:
West Area Administration proudly nominates longtime volunteer Aimee Thompson for this year’s Tom Moore Memorial Award. Aimee is the mother of three Newport Area students and has been an active volunteer since the time her oldest daughter set foot in our schools. Over the last decade, Aimee has spent countless hours volunteering in various formats to support our schools and all those who attend. Her role as a volunteer has evolved and expanded over the years and our schools have greatly benefited from her service.
Aimee became a volunteer over ten years ago in our elementary schools. She quickly became a leader in school-based Booster Clubs where she has spearheaded a number of highly valuable fundraisers to support our school’s initiatives, programs, and field trips. The very successful wrapping paper and pie fundraisers are prime examples of Aimee’s leadership as a volunteer. In addition, she has been a leader in the organization and planning of the YV/Sam Case Carnival. For many years she has volunteered as Booster Club President for YV/Sam Case and is the current Booster President for Newport Middle School. Her volunteer leadership has spanned thousands of hours and extends beyond her role as a booster member/President.
Going above and beyond the call of duty is routine for Aimee. She has volunteered as an ASPIRE Mentor at Newport High School, is an active member in the Newport High School Booster Club, is a current NMS Site Council Member and tirelessly volunteers as a youth soccer coach. Through coaching, Aimee has played a significant role in pioneering all-girls youth soccer teams in Newport. The girls are thriving under Aimee’s guidance. As a member of the NHS Booster Club Aimee has, for many years, created the publications for the Booster Bash, Fall Auction and Spring Auction. In addition to all of these amazing contributions, Aimee has been instrumental in bringing a “Green Movement” to Sam Case and Newport Middle.
Two years ago, Aimee approached NMS with the idea of the school becoming an Oregon Green School. Shortly thereafter, a teacher at NMS and Aimee began brainstorming about what that might look like. With Aimee’s vision and a teacher’s innovation, the Green Team class was born at NMS. Two years later, the Green Team changed the face of NMS. The school is now composting all food waste thereby reducing the amount of garbage headed to the landfill. They’re also recycling more efficiently including composting paper towels and using reusable silverware. This entire program was made possible because of Aimee’s vision and her willingness to go after and successfully secure a $10,000 grant to get the program up and moving. It’s no surprise that the green movement has made its way to Sam Case where it continues to thrive.
Aimee Thompson is a volunteer leader in Newport Schools and is highly deserving of any recognition our schools can provide. Her countless volunteer hours over the last decade as a booster, community coach, Site Council Member, school volunteer, and green school visionary make her an excellent candidate for the Tom Moore Memorial Award. The West Area Administrative Team feels Aimee is highly deserving of this commendation. Please consider Aimee as this year’s most distinguished volunteer.
West Area Administration
Reyna Mattson, Aaron Belloni, Shelley Moore, and Kristin Becker
To learn more about becoming a volunteer in the Lincoln County School District go to our website at https://lincoln.k12.or.us/get-involved/volunteer/
Photo of Aimee Thompson and her family Left to Right: Husband Rob Thompson, Aimee Thompson, daughters Jillian, Blair, and Piper, Sandi and Bob Thompson – Mrs. Thompson’s in-laws