Every year, LSS invites people to nominate a mentor who has gone above and beyond and has made a significant difference in the life of their student. While we know that ALL volunteer mentors are uniquely incredible and amazing, here is a list of those that stood out during the 2017-18 school year.
Kay Baldwin, Robert Frost, Retired
Kay mentors two Robert Frost students who agree that she is “nice, kind, positive and helps them feel confident because she has confidence in us.” She is a tremendous advocate for both of her students. She talks through situations the student’s are dealing with at home and school and helps them focus on the positive. Both of her students believe they have done better in school thanks to Kay.
Bill Green, Patrick Henry, Retired
Bill has been an amazing mentor for students at Patrick Henry for many years. At any given time, Bill is mentoring at least three students (typically 4-5), spending multiple lunch hours at the school to ensure each session is one on one. Bill has made an impact on all the students he has worked with – some subtle, some extraordinary. Bill is extremely positive, and his energy rubs off on his students. All of the students he meets with leave their time with a better attitude.
Jill Hansen, Dell Rapids Middle, BX Civil & Construction
Jill is excited about mentoring and very respectful of her student. This year they transitioned to USucceed, and have enjoyed finding new things to do together. Jill understands that as her student gets older, her needs change which in turn changes the look of their relationship. She works hard to keep mentoring fun and wants it to be a good experience for both of them.
Yvonne Hoffman, JFK, Retired
Yvonne has mentored at JFK off and on since 2009. Despite a cancer diagnosis, Yvonne returned to mentoring this year. She is a huge advocate for the program and helps shepherd new mentors at the school. Yvonne truly cares about the kids with which she works. Her consistency and dedication is heartwarming!
Robin Jacobs, Harrisburg North & High, DataSync Corp.
Robin meets with two students at two different schools. Both students that she mentors are New Americans and are settling into life in Harrisburg, SD. She brings games to play with the students each week, and even cooked food with her students from their culture in the FACS classroom. She helps the students feel included and allows them to share their own stories.
Pierce Johnson, John Harris, Results Radio
Pierce’s student knows that Pierce cares for him unconditionally and is at school just for him. His flexibility has been invaluable in working with his student and he does a great job of showing interest in wrestling, Roblox and X-Box games. Pierce has been a consistent, patient and positive force in this student’s life and the hard work Pierce has done to prove trustworthy has paid off.
Lynne Jones, Lowell, First United Methodist
Lynne mentors three students in different grade levels each week. She accommodates each student based on their interests. One student enjoys art, another likes going outside. Her students trust Lynne, and don’t take long to confide in her about issues that they are dealing with at home or school. Lynne is a phenomenal role model for these students who need that extra love and support.
Laurie Nelson, JFK, Farm Credit Services of America
Laurie is especially kind, dedicated and patient to her student. Her student says, “Laurie is always happy, and she always makes me happy.” Laurie has been with the same student for the past five years. When they started, the student was desperately seeking attention. Laurie is perfect for her, and her student has matured a lot since then – a great deal in part to Laurie’s TLC.
Rodney and Cheryl Nold, Patrick Henry/Susan B. Anthony, Retired
Rodney and Cheryl Nold started mentoring shortly after retiring from farming and moving to Sioux Falls. While many mentors pour themselves into their students, Rodney and Cheryl go above and beyond. They mentor siblings, and have recruited their son to mentor a third child from the same family. They are always looking for ways to make their students life better. They have moved with their students to a combined six different schools in the past five years. Most importantly, Rodney and Cheryl have let their students know that when things fall apart, they can count on them to provide support and consistency to help them get back up.
Gary Rakebrandt, RF Pettigrew, Good Samaritan Society
Gary has mentored a few different students in his years of volunteering with the program. He is currently with a boy who loves chess – so much so that Gary purchased a game to play with and to share with other mentors. His student loves when Gary visits. His student says, “Gary is a great listener and if we go outside together, Gary actually plays!”
Phil Schreck, Eugene Field, KSFY
Phil started mentoring to help a child beyond his own. He has been very supportive and reliable. He has built a strong, trusting relationship with his student, who really respects him. Phil is matched with a student who struggles with behavior issues, and has been a positive support for him. Most importantly, Phil brings fun, care and support to a student who needs it.
Stacy Trove, Eugene Field, State of South Dakota
Stacy mentored a student from elementary school through high school graduation, and after that did not take any time off. She was matched with a little boy and has been a positive support in this student’s life. He smiles when they meet and seems to really enjoy and value their time together. Stacy makes the time fun, but also provides much needed consistent support.
Please join us in congratulating the nominees! The winner will be announced at the 17th Annual LSS Mentor Appreciation Breakfast on Friday, April 20. The breakfast is sponsored by First PREMIER Bank/PREMIER Bank Card, Citi, Sanford, Wells Fargo, Mailway Printers, AARP of South Dakota, HenkinSchultz Creative Services and Raven Industries.