Volunteer Appreciation Week!

Briana Del Rosario

Briana volunteer and puppy

UW Volunteer of the Year
“Hustling Husky Award”

“Briana Del Rosario is a senior at the University of Washington in Seattle majoring in Biology. She will be attending a teacher preparation Master’s program this summer, and she is excited to embark on this new journey! Briana’s aspirations are to empower the diverse communities in Seattle through education and socio-emotional learning and support. She is committed to both engaging with her community and teaching through a social justice lens to actualize educational equity. A massive thank you to Ms. Baumgarten and her second-grade class for being supportive and gracious to me! Volunteering at Olympic Hills has truly been an unforgettable experience!”

“I began tutoring with SPS in October 2020 because I desired to help our teachers during online schooling. It is rewarding to see my selfless students step out of their comfort zone and help each other out, whether it be technological problems or guidance with classwork. For those interested in volunteering with SPS and/or UW Riverways, it is a beautiful opportunity to create meaningful relationships with the Olympic Hills community and provide academic and moral support to the students. The Olympic Hills staff are such dedicated individuals that foster inclusive and encouraging environments for their students to blossom!”

Our thanks to you!

Briana Del Rosario is an incredible human, educator, and volunteer. My students deeply look forward to her joining us and ask when she’ll be arriving. Her warmth, calm charisma, engaging connectedness, and ways of deepening student knowledge have made our class a better place. Briana is a biology major soon to graduate from the University of Washington. She decided after spending time with our students that she wants to proceed to becoming a teacher at SPS! Briana just got accepted to the Seattle Teacher Residency program, so we will be very lucky at SPS to benefit from her gifts. Briana is inquisitive and curious and has a breadth of knowledge about the sciences. She has a striking ability to break down information so any of us can not only understand it but feel intrigued.  She has made plant parts, molecules, trees, and ecosystems clear and exciting for our students. As she sees what students are studying, Briana has created slide decks to showcase certain science concepts. She’s invented math story problems together with students and solved them in fun ways. Students love learning from Briana. 

Briana has been instrumental to growth in my class, and to the creation of a safe and welcoming environment.  She has established fun and meaningful instructional routines and checks in with students about “highs and lows” and their feelings generally. This solid interconnectedness is a necessary ingredient for student growth. Culturally and interpersonally, my Spanish-speaking students and students of color identify with Briana and deeply admire her as a scientist and general role model.  She has created a sense of safety and curiosity and introduced them to new ideas and ways of thinking.

Thank you, Briana Del Rosario!We are forever grateful for your service!
– Mrs. Baumgarten & All OHE

Anela Deisler
Community Volunteer of the Year
“Otterly Honorable Volunteer”

We see you, and we appreciate you!

Anela is a parent of a first grader here at Olympic Hills, involved in the PTA, and supports staff, families, and students in our school community an opportunity she gets. Anela can be found hard at work, often with her younger child in tow, and always with a smile and a friendly hello and an offer to help some more. Anela centers the well-being of children in everything she does. Anela has a humble, kind, and caring way about her and a can-do spirit.

Anela has worked on the Social Justice Curriculum Committee this year, which means she is involved with developing and supporting anti-racist, social justice curriculum for our entire student body. She is a certificated teacher herself, and contributes her skill, expertise, and energy to this work. Olympic Hills has made the ground-breaking move this year of centering anti-racist, social justice teaching practices as part of the curriculum for our whole school. To make this happen takes a huge amount of energy and commitment, and it has been inspiring for me to see Anela enter this work alongside a group of talented, dedicated teachers on our staff. It means so much to have a parent from the community be a partner and advocate for this work, and it truly makes a difference in the lives and development of our students.

Anela also helps with the distribution of supplies for all our students. She works together with others to create bags of school supplies for all our families to pick up once a month. This action supports every single child in our school, and helps them feel cared for and connected, and helps with the activities they will be doing in online class every day. When asking Anela for support you are always received with a positive, pro-active, organized energy!  Staff and families can feel comforted when Anela takes over because their kids are in terrific hands!

I appreciate Anela’s volunteer work here at Olympic Hills so much. She has a global outlook for facilitating collaboration and connection across the school. The work Anela does uplifts children, families, and staff, and always makes a positive contribution to our community. 

Thank you Anela Deisler! We know we can always count on you!
– Nancy Smith & ALL OHE

Danielle volunteer

Danielle Pulliam

Title 1 Volunteer of the Year

“The Kindergarten and 1st grade students I read with are clever and insightful making my experience as a volunteer very rewarding.  The students seem happy to see me and are active in our reading lessons making it fun and engaging for all.  The Olympic Hills teachers and staff are supportive and patient which makes remote volunteering easy.  I was spurred to volunteer because I can’t imagine teaching during this unusual time and wanted to support the incredible work our teachers are doing to promote educational justice during a pandemic.  The most challenging barrier was ironing out the technology kinks for remote volunteering, once those were smoothed out, the students were reading, sharing ideas, and persevering.  This experience has enriched my life and I would encourage other community members to volunteer during the pandemic for the sense of purpose.”

You are invaluable to OHE!

Supporting students with remote learning during this pandemic has been difficult, especially those furthest from educational justice. When Danielle reached out to OHE to volunteer we had no idea of the support we were about to receive, but very much needed. She immediately acknowledged the importance of using her former experience as an educator to support the difficult conversations we needed to have with students. With a huge heart she embraced the challenge of supporting our community through social and racial justice both in and out of the classroom. She has supported enthusiastically and humbly with food delivery and small group reading support throughout the school year. No matter how small or obscure a request may seem, she is always there with a cheerful “Yes!” helping us get our students whatever they need to feel loved and supported!

Danielle is very patient, reliable, and knowledgeable in leading reading groups for our students. She is also very kind and warm-hearted. Danielle keeps our learning community moving forward and inward! Danielle acknowledges whether the volunteering opportunity is online or in person, interacting directly or indirectly with students that each step is vital to the well being and success of each student. She encourages and facilitates an inclusive environment for all our students. She instills comfort in students harnessing positive relationships, confidence in asking questions, and excitement for class. If a need presents itself, she does not hesitate to ensure support is providing effectively and efficiently. Her support has provided more 1-1 and small group services to students, ensures more families have access to supplies and food, and has helped to bridge the equity gap in remote learning.

We are forever grateful for the support, love, and knowledge she has provided Olympic Hills staff and students. Everything Danielle helps with she completes through a lens of equity.

Thank you Danielle Pulliam!
– Katy Pence, Miriam Kim, and all OHE