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School Board Honors Outstanding OAES Volunteers

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School Board Honors Outstanding OAES Volunteers
Posted on 04/26/2017
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Two outstanding volunteers at Ocean Avenue Elementary School, Will Burrow and Molly Anderson, were recently recognized by the Portland Board of Public Education and Superintendent Xavier Botana.

The recognition took place at the board’s April 25 meeting.

Botana thanked Burrow and Anderson for their service and their positive impact on students at Ocean Avenue School. Here’s a summary of Botana’s remarks concerning the volunteers:

Will Burrow: “Will Burrow is a retired special education director for RSU 4, which serves Litchfield, Sabattus and Wales. He now volunteers at Ocean Avenue three days a week, working with students who have gaps in their learning. Will helps students with such skills as letter identification, reading fluency, numeracy strategies and much more. 

The kids have a special name for Will: Dr. Dot. That’s because of his love of plotting data. He has helped Ocean Avenue examine its own data. For example, he helped the school in measuring its success rate with students in the RTI (response to instruction) process. With his help, the school’s RTI team revamped its data collection sheet and has become laser-focused on data concerning the skills that will help the student reach the next level. 

In addition, Will's connections have brought the school more volunteers.  National and international consultants regularly stop by the school or Skype in to work with a student. 

Molly Anderson: “Molly Anderson is an Ocean Avenue parent who volunteers one day a week, teaching coding to the school’s fourth- and fifth-graders 2. Principal Beverly Coursey describes Molly as ‘amazing with the kids in grades 4 and 5.’

Molly also supports Ocean Avenue’s goal of meaningfully engaging parents. Last year, she became a board member of the school’s PTO, and is the community director this year. Principal Coursey said Molly is very skilled at bringing people together. Here’s a description of a parent night that Molly was instrumental in organizing: ‘Molly was the driver behind our latest very successful parent night. We had drummers from Burundi and a potluck with some food from Burundi.  It was a fun evening that brought a smile to everyone's face. It was standing room only for the formal performance and everyone dancing and drumming when we moved to the gym.’”

Botana concluded, “Will and Molly, congratulations on this well-deserved recognition and thank you for all that you do. Last week was Public School Volunteers week. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all our wonderful Portland Public Schools volunteers. As we can see from these two impressive examples, our volunteers truly make a difference in our schools!”

PHOTO CAPTION: Pictured (from left) are Portland Superintendent Xavier Botana; OAES volunteer Molly Anderson; and Portland Board of Public Education Chair Anna Trevorrow. OAES volunteer Will  Burrow was not physically present at the school board meeting but attended via Skype.