State recognizes two Lee County school volunteers
Two Lee County school volunteers have won state honors.
Vicki Godrey and George Miller are the first school volunteers within the School District of Lee County to win the Outstanding School Volunteer Award from the Florida Department of Education.
Godfrey is the Region IV Adult Volunteer of the Year. Region IV covers the west coast of Florida from Tampa to Naples. Miller is the Region IV Senior Volunteer of the Year. Both were honored as Lee County 2019-2020 Adult and Senior Volunteer of the Year at the January 28 school board meeting before their nominations were submitted to the state.
Godfrey started volunteering at Orange River Elementary School more than 10 years ago when her children attended classes there. Even though her kids have moved on, Godfrey continues to take the bus to spend 30 hours a week in the school library.
“She is part of our team, and we work together to help students develop a sense of self and an interest in reading for pleasure,” said Principal Cayce Staruk. “She helps students find books that interest them and that will enrich and enhance their learning experiences. Students will seek her out for her assistance and her praise when they share their accomplishments with her.”
Godfrey also volunteers with first grade students in need of extra support, and is part of the PTO, SAC, and school fundraisers at Orange River.
“It is fun,” Godfrey said. “I enjoy volunteering so the teachers can have one less thing they have to do.”
Miller has been a volunteer at Pine Island Elementary for 16 years and his impact is seen in student test scores. His involvement in STEM class helped the school reach its science goal last year and see 82% of students score proficient on the Statewide Science Test. Miller volunteers about six hours a week and his biggest contribution is in math.
“Mr. Miller directly influences all 51 of our fifth grade students in math class,” said Principal Steven Hook. “He tirelessly works with them one-on-one and in small groups to reteach math concepts and skills. Students actually request time with Mr. Miller because they know of his direct impact on their math progress and his passion for math.”
Miller often continues to tutor students in middle and high school after they’ve left Pine Island Elementary. He also teaches GED classes at Pine Island’s Beacon of Hope.
“I volunteer because I missed interacting with young people,” Miller said. “It keeps me young!”
Division of Public Schools Chancellor Jacob Oliva will be sending both Godfrey and Miller an official letter and a trophy to congratulate them for being named a 2019-2020 Volunteer of the Year. The Lee County School Board will also recognize their accomplishment at a future meeting.