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Volunteers are the backbone of every successful school. These dedicated individuals work tirelessly to ensure teachers and students feel cared for, and every fundraiser is a rousing success. Behind every great school is a team of enthusiastic volunteers who make the magic happen. 

Of these volunteers, there are always a few who shine the brightest, and that is who we honor with our monthly Booster Volly Awards. From these monthly winners, we have chosen a national Volly Award Winner for the grand prize! 

This year, we are excited to shine the spotlight on Stephanie Czapka from James B. Eads Elementary School in Munster, Indiana. Stephanie has been a volunteer at the school for six years, and on the board for five of them. She has two children at the school, but she has three kids in all (12, 10, and 7). They love spending time together at home and traveling. Last year, they went to Zion National Park and did lots of hiking!

Before becoming a "Super-Volunteer-Mom," Stephanie was a kindergarten teacher. She knows firsthand all the hard work teachers put in, so as a volunteer, she strives to make their jobs easier. Stephanie says she wants to support the staff because they work so hard for everyone.

As a PTO member, Stephanie has been the host of many community events and the leader of multiple projects. One of her favorite projects is the Community Reader's Group. With this project, she helps the fourth and fifth-grade student leadership team create monthly "Life Line Trait" lessons for each grade.

But the project closest to her heart is the annual "Kindness Week" in February, which she began in order to teach students how to be good citizens. Stephanie enjoys watching the kids compete for kindness points by writing cards to their community with uplifting messages.

Stephanie's commitment to improving the school prompted Nicole Albright to nominate her for a Volly Award. "Stephanie was the PTO President for five years at our school,” Nicole shared. “She took a PTO that had low funds to one with a $70,000 budget by adding a Back to School BBQ, Halloween Dance, Book Fair, Holiday Shop and Spring Carnival. She built a membership base and managed to keep parents engaged through COVID-19. Her efforts paid off with a National Blue Ribbon School Award this year, in part due to the support system of parents and grant programs for teachers that our parent organization now supports."

Booster celebrated Stephanie as our 2023 National Volly Award Winner with confetti cannons, a $1,000 check, and a parent volunteer trophy. We are so grateful for the way Stephanie and all the amazing volunteers across America continue to strengthen our schools, communities, and country. 

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