GBEMS honors volunteers

Green Bank Elementary-Middle School volunteers were treated last week to a brunch prepared by Pocahontas County High School ProStart students. From right: Brittney Sharp, ProStart teacher Teresa Mullen, Courtney Cohenour and Tara Warner prepare brunch staples including custom omelets and Bananas Foster. S. Stewart photo
Green Bank Elementary-Middle School volunteers were treated last week to a brunch prepared by Pocahontas County High School ProStart students. From right: Brittney Sharp, ProStart teacher Teresa Mullen, Courtney Cohenour and Tara Warner prepare brunch staples including custom omelets and Bananas Foster. S. Stewart photo

Suzanne Stewart
Staff Writer

It’s not uncommon to walk into Green Bank Elementary-Middle School and see several community members working with students and staff. The community is invested in the school and gives its time and effort to make the school a better place for students.

Last week, the school turned the tables and thanked members of the community for volunteering at the school.

Family involvement coordinator Lucy Rittenhouse – who organized the event – said the school wanted to show its gratitude by hosting a brunch.

“This brunch is the only way we knew to say ‘thank you’ to the people who do extra work here at school,” Rittenhouse said. “I was trying to find something really inspiring to say about volunteers this morning and one of the quotes I read which kind of made me laugh was ‘you take volunteers out of the community, then you’ll know what they actually do.’ We’ll miss them then because volunteer people keep the community going.”

Rittenhouse said what sets Green Bank school apart is that the community is so involved and people see it as their school – even those who have no children or grandchildren attending school there.

“The people who have the integrity to be interested in our community, we recognize those of you who have helped in any way at the Green Bank school,” she said. “We just really appreciate that. We talk about the doors now being locked, and there’s such a mentality of it’s ‘us’ and it’s them.’ ‘You people down at the school,’ but what we want to develop is ‘we’ as the Green Bank community working together.”

Principal Ricky Sharp echoed Rittenhouse’s sentiment, thanking the volunteers for giving back to the school – it may seem like a small thing but it makes a big impact.

“I’m a firm believer in the old philosophy that it takes an entire village to raise a child,” Sharp said. “We here at Green Bank are in the business of raising children and we could not do it without your help and support. I appreciate everything you’ve done throughout the year.

“I’d also like to recognize Ms. Lucy,” he added. “She said she couldn’t do this without my support, but the reality is, I could not do this without her.”

The volunteers were treated to a brunch buffet which included Caesar salad, custom omelets, Bananas Foster, baked macaroni and cheese, fried potatoes, Eggs Benedict, cinnamon rolls and fresh fruit.

The brunch was prepared by Pocahontas County High School ProStart students Tara Warner, Courtney Cohenour, Chase Erlewine, Brittney Sharp, Megan Galford, Lylia Cottle and Gabby Cochran, and ProStart teacher Teresa Mullen.

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