The Sierra Sands School District Board of Education handed out awards to volunteers nominated by its school sites on Thursday night as part of an annual ceremony that honors support given by parents and the community.

“Our district is very fortunate to have so much wonderful community support that it was especially difficult to choose an individual or individuals who most personify advocacy for the district and support of the community,” Superintendent Ernie Bell said prior to handing out the district’s community service award.

Bell noted that while there are many candidates worthy of the award, Rocky Maida was recognized this year for his efforts in spearheading fundraisers resulting in thousands of dollars raised for the students of Sierra Sands through the annual 760Mopar Carz for Kidz Car Show and Fundraiser.

“Over the past three years, their generosity has amounted to an approximate donation of $12,000 in school supplies, sports equipment, and P.E. uniforms with 100 percent of funds raised benefiting all Sierra Sands schools,” Bell said.

According to Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources David Ostash, the Rose Awards gives the district the ability to annually honor those volunteers who generously dedicate time and energy to the success of our students.

“We are fortunate to live in a community where parents and community members take a vital interest in the lives of their children, whether it is in their activities at home or at school,” Ostash said at Thursday’s meeting. “Many go above and beyond what is necessary to make a difference to the children of the district.”

Each school nominated a person or group who contributed to their respective success of the students.

For Faller Elementary, principal Melissa Christman presented the award to Holly Cook for her extensive commitment to Faller over the last 10 years. For the last five years, she has enthusiastically spearheaded our annual PTO Project Day. For the last three years, due to her great effort, our Box Top collection has increased from $600 to $2,700.

Gateway Elementary principal Margaret Bergens awarded the Rose Award to Mark Wonnacott. Wonnacott’s efforts in helping Gateway have included everything from field trips to classroom volunteer to Jr. Olympics coordinator. Five of his 10 children have attended Gateway.

Inyokern Elementary selected Jason Powell with its Rose Award for 15 years of being an active parent. Principal Michael Kennedy praised Powell for supporting an initiative to place a video game room in the elementary school to help students experiencing behavioral issues in the classroom. Kennedy donates approximately nine hours of his time each week to supervise students in the game room, in addition to serving on the school site council.

Las Flores Elementary’s Rose Award went to the Maturango Museum docents. Principal Sue Marvin said the docents have visited the school monthly to teach our students love, respect, understanding, and curiosity about our world through hands-on events. Marvin said that experience “provides enrichment that teachers just can’t match.”

The Pierce Elementary School Rose Award was given to Veronica Hernandez. According to principal John Cosner, Hernandez has tirelessly given countless hours in service of not merely her child, but many students, teachers, and education as a whole.

Richmond Elementary principal Mike Yancey presented its Rose Award to Amber Gray for her years of service with the school’s PTO. “She is an amazing cook and caterer and went above and beyond expectations for our Welcome Back Family Dinner Night and the Superintendent’s Council breakfast held at Richmond,” Yancey said.

James Monroe Middle School presented its award to Misty Siebert for her role as PTO president and the organization of the Fall Carnival, the Valentine Dance, fundraisers, and many other activities.

Murray Middle School named Tia Roberts as its Rose Award recipient. Principal Kirsti Smith called Roberts Murray’s fundraiser coordinator, crediting her with researching and finding ways to raise money for the benefit of middle school students. “You give her a task or she has an idea and boom, it’s done,” Smith said. “She is energetic, super funny and a tremendously dedicated team player.”

Burroughs High School Principal Bryan Auld said the BHS Rose Award recipient Stephanie Hudson has served as PTO president for four years. She has also been a member of the Safe Grad Committee since her daughter was a freshman and served as the president of the committee for the past two years. While her daughter has graduated, Hudson has stayed involved in Safe Grad and expects to continue in her role.

Army Sgt. Jacob Gamboa was named as Mesquite High School’s Rose Award recipient for the third year running. Principal Jo Ane McClelland said Gamboa has gone way beyond his duties as the Army recruiter assigned to Mesquite. “The students know he is interested when he spends time with them. All of our faculty and students would like to thank Sgt. Gamboa for his time and commitment to our school,” McClelland said.