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Busy volunteer: Grandma Jane wins state award

Grandma Jane Capizzo works with the students from Ferron Elementary.


Jon and Karen Huntsman and the 2011 Awards Committee have selected 10 educators to receive the Huntsman Awards for Excellence in Education. In this 19th year of the program, the 2011 recipients join the ranks of 191 previous winners who have received $10,000 awards.

Karen Huntsman stated, "It means so much to Jon and to me to have the opportunity each year to highlight the exciting achievements of our public school educators and to express our gratitude for their devotion to children throughout our state. The 2011 recipients were selected from an impressive array of nominations which made the process of choosing only 10 educators extremely challenging. We are very proud of this year's winners in their own right and as representatives of their fellow educators across the state, all of whom we hope to eventually honor."

The awards are presented to 10 recipients-two teachers and one administrator, respectively, at the elementary, middle and high school levels, plus one volunteer. Each award winner will be presented a $10,000 gift from the Huntsman family together with a crystal obelisk.

A banquet to honor the award winning educators and to again recognize previous winners will take place on May 13, at the Little America Hotel in Salt Lake City.

Ferron Elementary was most ecstatic when the news came that Grandma Jane would be honored as volunteer of the year from her work at the school. Jane Capizzo, lovingly known as "Grandma Jane" by the students and staff, has served as a volunteer at Ferron Elementary for seven years.

Lisa Behling has had the priviledge of having her work in her first grade classroom approximately four hours each day. "She is patient and kind especially with my students with special learning needs. The students trust her because they know that she cares and will help them succeed. They each love the VIP attention that "Grandma Jane" showers on them as she helps them master a new concept."

Principal Brian Dawes - "She is a committed volunteer that loves and serves the children. Jane loves to go out to recess. Because she is out with the children daily, she recognizes patterns in the children's behavior. What may appear to the teacher on duty as an isolated example of rough play, she can identify as a pattern of bullying. Her watchful eye has helped reduce the bullying out on the playground."

Vicki Nielsen fifth grade teacher - "Grandma Jane has worked one on one with the students in my classes, encouraging them as she listens to them read. She has really been instrumental in fostering a love of reading in the lives of my students."

Gerry Stotler, Program Coordinator Volunteers of America - "Jane is serving her seventh year as a Foster Grandparent. She is a great example of a caring grandparent. I have come to appreciate the faithfulness and commitment she demonstrates to help 'her kids.'"

LaRita Nelson, special education teacher - "The students know they can trust her, they know she truly cares, and they are better for her influence, as we all are here at Ferron Elementary."

Stephanie Roper, Title I coordinator - "It has been a privilege to work with Grandma Jane these past few years at Ferron Elementary. As a Title 1 teacher/supervisor, my staff and I work with students who are identified as at-risk in the academic areas of reading and math. Grandma Jane has done an exemplary job of helping these students receive additional practice in reading and math."

Jacki Behling, secretary - "I've seen Jane with soil up to her elbows, covered in paint, glue, glitter, and anything else used to help first grade students. She never complains but smiles and laughs at the crazy day."

Lisa Mangum, paraprofessional- "Jane is a dependable volunteer. Five days a week Jane drives 30 miles to volunteer at Ferron Elementary. During the past seven years she has only missed when the weather was too severe for her to safely make the trip."

Other winners include: Principal--Mr. Burke R. Staheli, Washington Elementary School, Washington.

Teacher--Mrs. Sally Ogilvie, Syracuse Elementary School, Syracuse.

Teacher--Mrs. Joanne Spencer, Bluff Ridge Elementary School, Syracuse.

Middle School: Principal--Mr. Mark Grant, Evergreen Junior High School, Salt Lake City.

Teacher--Ms. Linda Lewis, Mapleton Junior High School, Mapleton.

Teacher--Mr. David M. Beck, Pleasant Grove Junior High/High School, Pleasant Grove.

High School: Principal--Mr. Ray Long, Fremont High School, Plain City.

Teacher--Mr. James S. Hodges, Brighton High School, Salt Lake City.

Teacher--Mr. Nyle Russell, Payson High School, Payson.

Volunteer--Mrs. Jane Capizzo, Ferron Elementary School, Ferron.

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