Outstanding Mentors 2017

LSS celebrates mentors by hosting a Mentor Appreciation Breakfast each April. This year, the event is set for Wednesday, April 19, 7:30-8:30 AM at The District.

At the event, mentors who have made extraordinary contributions are honored as Outstanding Mentors. Here is the list for 2017:

Lynn Bren, Mentor at Harrisburg High School, Employed at Claims Associates
Lynn has demonstrated her investment to her student and the mentor program through her consistency and dedication. Lynn utilizes her outgoing personality to connect with her student, and she manages to get him talking even though freshmen boys can be resistant to opening up. She utilizes creative techniques to understand the things happening in her students life through various questioning strategies as well as focusing on the student’s needs rather than her own agenda. She is persistent and positive and a great resource for her student.

Eric Erickson, Mentor at Hayward Elementary, Employed at SDN Communications
The Point is to Serve has partnered with Hayward for a number of years. One of the many ways they help is by encouraging members to mentor students at the school. Eric enthusiastically took that challenge several years ago. It has been thrilling to watch his relationship with his student blossom. The match has a lot of fun together and Eric teaches and models how to be a person of integrity. He student says, “He is always nice to people. He doesn’t yell. He helps me with reading, writing and math. He is a REALLY nice guy!”

Jill Hansen, Mentor at Dell Rapids Middle School, Employed at BX Civil and Construction
Every time Jill and her student together, it is evident they are having a great time! Jill is always respectful of her student and speaks in a way that matches her students maturity level. She is a very consistent volunteer too! Her student says, “I like how Jill always smiles, even on her bad days. She is always respectful of me and is good at finding a way to make me feel better even when she doesn’t know what is going on.” Her student loves having Jill as her mentor and often says that everyone should have someone in their life that isn’t family or teachers to talk to – someone like Jill.

Pam Harris, Mentor at Harrisburg South Middle School, Retired
Pam is an outstanding mentor for many reasons. Her student looks forward to Pam’s visits with excitement and joy. Her student can be a bit choosy about who she befriends, but once she connects with someone, she is fiercely loyal. Pam has been the perfect match for her student – able to provide that consistent support and kindness for years. Pam has show over and over how loving and selfless she can be. She is really something special to her student.

Jennifer Hintz, Mentor at Robert Frost Elementary, Sioux Falls Lutheran School
Jennifer found out about mentoring through social media. She has been mentoring for over two years and is a consistent and loving presence in her student’s life. Jennifer offers sincerity, steadfast support and deep level of caring when she mentors. She shows up and is fully present for her student each week. Her student has experienced many important losses – leaving school and mentoring as the two constants in their life.

Curt Lauret, Mentor at Laura B. Anderson Elementary, Employed at Wells Fargo
Curt has been a mentor for over ten years, and has been with the same student the past five years. His student says, “He is always very respectful and pushes me to do my best. I know he really cares about me when he gives me fist bumps when our mentor time is coming to an end.” With Curt’s steadiness and encouragement, his student has learned to be able to be more confident in the decisions that he needs to make.

Shirley Leach, Mentor at John Harris Elementary, Retired
Shirley focuses on being a consistent, positive and focused person in her students life. She truly wants to get to know her student better with each visit she makes. She is always looking for new ways to be a better mentor for her student. Most importantly, Shirley is adaptable – she has worked to grow with her student and find ways to meet the student where she is at.

Shane Matthys, Mentor at Memorial Middle School, Employed at Astrazeneca
Since he first met his student, Shane has been supportive and encouraging. He always wants to know how best to support his student and makes an effort not to miss a week of mentoring. His student cites Shane’s easy going nature as one of his favorite things about him. His student went on to say, “He’s been very helpful and we can talk about problems. He’s kind of like a friend to all.”

Mary Nelson, Mentor at Dell Rapids Elementary, Employed at Dell Rapids School District
Mary is committed and comes with a ready and willing heart to serve and care for her student. She is reliable, shows genuine concern for her student , is flexible and seems to really enjoy her time at the school each week. Mary’s personality and ability to relate well to others have been important trails that she has role modeled for her student. She is such a natural as a volunteer and has the true heart of a mentor.

Crystal Nesburg, Mentor at Dell Rapids Elementary, Employed at Citibank
Crystal is always smiling and genuinely loves mentoring! She is trustworthy and reliable in her commitment to volunteer. She makes her student feel so great! Her student has improved in their confidence, self-control, maturity in relationships with others and their ability to carry out positive behaviors.

Jan Noer, Mentor at Eugene Field, Retired
Jan is a very caring and special person. She is very involved in her dedication to mentoring and has helped her student in many ways. She mentors a very smart student who sometimes struggles with behavior. Her student is always on their best behavior with her and loves their time together. Jan is a very important person to her student.

Debbie Olson, Mentor at George McGovern Middle School, Employed at Sanford
Debbie has a great balance of being both nurturing and pragmatic. She has been with er student every step of the way, including following them to four different schools. Debbie has mentored for seven years. Although she has a very full and busy life, she has made her student a priority and has never wavered from her commitment. She is an example of someone who has come along side a child with the hope of truly making a difference in their life.

Cinda Ortman, Mentor at New Tech High, Retired
Cinda is consistent, committed and flexible. Her student trusts her and loves that Cinda is supportive and kind. Her student says, “She is always trying to make sure that we have time together every week. She is kind and thoughtful. She talks to me and listens to what I have to say.”

Zachary Seefeldt, Mentor at JFK, Employed at Southeastern Behavioral
Zachary exemplifies the meaning of a mentor and his relationship with her student is the perfect model of what mentoring can do for a child. When first asking for a mentor, Zachary’s student requested someone who liked Star Wars and sports. His student has shown great emotional growth – much of which is attributed to his friendship with Zachary. His student says, “Zach is really nice, not rude and has lots of friends…he encourages me to stay out of trouble and get help when I need it.”

Carol Twedt, Mentor at Susan B. Anthony Elementary, Retired
Carol’s student was difficult to build a relationship with when they first started meeting three years ago. He was guarded and made her prove that she was going to be a trusting adult. The first day mentors could visit this year, her student was so excited that he ran up to her and hugged her so tightly! They just picked up their relationship right where they left off last spring. Her student is now one that does not get in trouble at school and is more respectful, engaged in learning and puts forth effort.

Bob Wendland, Mentor at Eugene Field, Employed at Washington Pavilion
Bob is a very pleasant person and brings the arts into his time with his student. At one point this year, he mentored two students. He is very consistent and caring with his students. He puts other before him, especially the students he mentors. His student can sometimes struggle with behavior. He was able to quickly build a relationship with this student and enjoys his time with Bob. It is great that Bob can be a much needed male role model for this student.

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