SHERIE KIMBALL BRAUNERSRITHER
Currently president of the PTA at Stansbury Elementary, Sherie Braunersrither spends countless hours at school, seeing what needs to be done and quietly doing it. She organizes PTA fundraisers, some of which have made possible student field trips not covered by school budgets, monthly rewards for reading, and a morning student/parents read-a-thon with breakfast.
Braunersrither emphasizes the value of recycling as she directs the students by having class representatives attend monthly student PTA (Tiger Talk) meetings. Students report items of interest and planned events to their classmates. This innovative process has proven to be a self-esteem booster to participating students.
In these times when educators are somewhat “under the gun” and often feel under-appreciated in their careers of service, it is a boon to have someone like Braunersrither around. Often, she quietly presents teachers with small tokens of appreciation – sometimes a treat and note of thanks, and recently, handmade Christmas lapel pins. Her acts of kindness are a boost to teacher morale.
As a PTA fundraiser, at the beginning of the school year when temperatures were still high, Braunersrither decided to make refreshing snow cones available for sale to children at day’ send. Many children happily partook of this treat. And, as teachers have labored during 12-hour days of teaching and conferences, Braunersrither has planned nutritious evening meals to keep them going.
During Family Nights at the school, Braunersrither has strengthened the bond between the school and community. She drew enthusiastic participation in that event by securing the presence of “Big Dawg,” Antoine Carr, who spoke, signed autographs, and posed in photographs with children and their parents.
A recent act of generosity, requiring countless hours of preparation, was when she solicited donations from the community, purchased and wrapped gifts, and presented each child (many of whom endure low socio-economic conditions) with their own Christmas gift before they left for Christmas break.
Braunersrither is participating in the Adopt-An-Elder program to provide bedding and winter clothing for Native Americans on the Navajo reservation. She has spent countless hours at work quilting frames, setting up in the front hall of the school, tying quilts and teaching students this dying art, as well as setting an example for staff and students. These quilts are then donated to the Navajo Program.
Sherie Braunersrither receives no tangible reward for her altruism, nor does she ask for such.
“This award is really about the kids. I appreciate the recognition, but the greatest joy is working directly with the children. Nowadays, schools are under funded and do not have adequate resources, so family and community involvement is necessary to ensure success. It is the small, local acts of service that can reap great benefits in the lives of our children,” stated Braunersrither.