Jennifer Sessoms and Nancy Thackrah are the 2020 Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) Citywide Volunteers of the Year. Superintendent Dr. Aaron Spence and members of the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) made the announcement during a virtual conference call May 5, 2020.
Each year, the Virginia Beach Council of PTAs recognizes the tremendous contributions of two exemplary School Volunteers of the Year. One volunteer from the elementary level and one from the secondary level were selected as citywide award winners.
Jennifer Sessoms is the treasurer, team captain and Destination Imagination director at John B. Dey Elementary, where she has volunteered for the past three years.
“Jenny has a passion for helping to make things better,” wrote Dey PTA president Lauren Kirkpatrick in Sessom’s nomination packet. “She is also forever seeking out ways to help others and further new initiatives and missions. She’s continuously researching what other schools are doing, how it’s working for them and how we can implement it at our school. She does her job correctly and efficiently and wears many other hats based on the needs of the day, event or situation.”
In addition to Dey’s PTA, Sessom’s also participates in Old Donation School’s PTA, teaches early childhood classes at her church and coaches youth soccer through the YMCA.
“She is dependable and responsible and you know when Jenny is behind the reins, the task will be done correctly, on time and with the utmost attention to detail,” said Kirkpatrick. “I cannot fully put into words what she means to me and how her dedication to voluntarism is so greatly appreciated.”
For the past two years, Nancy Thackrah has volunteered in Plaza Middle School English and math classrooms three times a week.
“Nancy is willing to work with every student,” said Plaza Middle teacher Kelly Day in Thackrah’s nomination packet. “She builds positive relationships with all students, which allows them to look at her as another trusted adult in the classroom. Nancy easily adapts to every classroom and works harmoniously with teachers and students to effectively increase student learning.”
Thackrah communicates with teachers in advance to familiarizes herself with the daily lesson content and instruction so she can serve as a resource in the classroom.
“Ms. Thackrah is a role model for students and staff and has quickly become part of the Plaza family,” stated Principal Deborah Price. “She is without a doubt, worthy of the honor of Volunteer of the Year.”
Sessoms and Thackrah were selected as the 2020 VBCPS Citywide Volunteers of the Year from an initial pool of 87 Volunteers of the Year. The Virginia Beach Council of PTAs reviewed and determined the citywide winners.
For more information about volunteer programs and related opportunities that support VBCPS, please contact Jennifer McGowan, school/community partnerships coordinator.