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Soroptimist awards make a difference

Teachers, community members receive grants and awards
By: Karen Fraser-Middleton, Special to the Loomis News
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Soroptimist International of Loomis Basin presented community awards and grants last week to local teachers and community members.

Del Oro High School student Katie Conkle received the Violet Richardson Award that recognizes young women who make the community and world a better place through volunteer efforts. Katie volunteers with Lakeside Equestrian Center Therapeutic Riding Program in Loomis as a sidewalker.

Katie said she’s learned “the importance of patience, to never give up and that it only takes a little bit of time to make a positive difference in someone else's life.”

Kathryn Potts won the Women’s Opportunity Award that aids women who must support their families and need additional training to upgrade their employability. Potts is a single mother of two children who attends Sierra College with the goal of becoming an automotive technician or an automotive service writer.

“I have always liked fixing thing and seeing how they work. By working in this traditionally male field, I will be able to make a great life for my kids.”

Sherrie Doupnik Edgar won the Ruby Award for Women Helping Women that is given to those who improve the lives of other women or girls through their professional or personal activities. According to Chris Hebard-Summers, Edgar initiated the Loomis Christmas Basket program over 10 years ago.

“She has worked tirelessly in the community for the past 25 years,” said Hebard-Summers. “She is a Loomis Chamber of Commerce past-president, South Placer Heritage Foundation board member and Cowpoke Fall Gathering committee member.”

Edgar is the president of Gary Doupnik Manufacturing and lives in Loomis.

Jennifer McAlister received the Sanford J. Weinberg Reader Award for volunteering to read to students. She was nominated by teacher Kathy Lowry who says that McAlister is a dedicated volunteer.

“She has spent four years as a volunteer reader in K-3 classrooms at Ophir Elementary School,” said Lowry.

Fred & Acsa Hitchen received a grant to continue their work at the Senior L.I.F.E. Center of Loomis, where adults over age 55 enjoy social and educational activities as well as lunch contributed by local businesses and organizations. Soroptimist International Loomis Basin helped establish the center in 1978 and continues to support it.

Fuzzy Jarnagin accepted the grant to American Legion Post #775. Soroptimist appreciate the many ways the veterans partner with the club to support community events such as the Loomis Family Fest and the Loomis Easter Egg Hunt.

Soroptimists provides small grants to help fund teachers’ long-term projects that will benefit numerous classes over time.

Franklin Elementary School kindergarten teachers Bobbi Nelson and Angela Smith received grants to buy a set of leveled reading books with appropriate text, pictures and vocabulary for beginning reading.

Jennifer Ameigeiras, Title I teacher at H. Clarke Powers Elementary School, will use her grant to start and facilitate a student-run morning news program for seventh and eighth-grade students who will write, produce, edit and star in a news and edit a news broadcast to deliver school-wide morning announcements.

Kindergarten teacher Patricia Sleizer, from H. Clarke Powers, received a grant to purchase a program which uses different media and activities to foster literacy independence and improve reading and writing skills.

Rebecca Kattenhorn, an eighth-grade Loomis Grammar School teacher, will rebuild her class library to help her students reach their goal of reading 40 books this school year.

Sixth-grade math and science teacher Susan McQueen, from Loomis Grammar School, received a grant to buy a supplemental math program that uses visual and kinesthetic approaches to provide students with a foundation for success with algebra.

Tracey Curry, first-grade teacher at Ophir Elementary School, was given an award to purchase tactile manipulative kits that can be used by multiple students year after year to reinforce and practice key first grade math and reading concepts.

Placer School fourth-grade teacher Dana Swain received a grant to buy a project to enhance both math and history curricula. The program reinforces the concept of decimals while working with money, and teaches students about banking services, financial institutions and how money impacts people every day as a cornerstone of our economy.                 

Placer School kindergarten teacher Amanda Tibbits’ award will purchase reading books to build the kindergarten leveled readers’ library that can be read in small or large groups, with buddies or one-on-one.

For information about Soroptimist International of Loomis Basin, call Kaera Anzalone at 652-4024.