A devoted friend of education

Dawes honored for service to schools

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— Education in Steamboat Springs rarely, if ever, had a friend like Margaret "Poogie" Dawes.

The Steamboat Springs School Board honored Dawes on Monday night by naming her the district's 2005 "Friend of Education," an annual award given for outstanding contributions to local education and schools.

Dawes died at her Steamboat home in April. She was 54.

Her husband, Steve Dawes, said Wednesday that Poogie worked tirelessly for Steamboat schools.

"I suspect I'll fall short of really capturing everything she did," he said. "Her involvement was very volunteer-driven. It was very much her asking: 'What needs to be done, and what can I do to help out?'"

The answer to that question starts with Steve and Poogie's two sons. Jeff, 16, will finish his sophomore year at Steamboat Springs High School today. Matt, 14, will conclude eighth grade at Steamboat Springs Middle School.

When the boys attended Soda Creek Elementary School, Poogie helped in the school office, assisted teachers in classrooms and chaperoned field trips.

When Jeff and Matt attended Steamboat Springs Middle School, Poogie served on the school's Parent Information Committee for three years and again helped in the classrooms and on field trips. She also ran the school store, a job Steve said included ordering supplies, scheduling volunteers and keeping track of the store's finances.

Steamboat Springs High School staff members were fortunate when Jeff began his freshman year. Steve said Poogie joined the high school's Parent Information Committee, served on a curriculum committee, judged senior project presentations and was involved in the interview process that resulted in hiring Principal Mike Knezevich.

"She was very, very active all through her children's school careers, both in academics and athletics," Superintendent Donna Howell said about Poogie.

Throughout those years, the energetic, passionate woman with a contagious smile also spent time volunteering at Yampa Valley Medical Center and with the Steamboat Springs Youth Hockey Association.

Steve Dawes said a School Board member nominated Poogie for this year's Friend of Education award. The board accepted that nomination unanimously.

At its meeting June 19, the board will present Steve Dawes with a plaque in memory of Poogie's work and service.

"I was honored that they decided to do this," he said.

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