Recent 'Friend of Education' honorees
2010-11: Paige Boucher
2009-10: Nancy Mucklow
2008-09: Fred Gardner and Mary Labor
2007-08: Julie Taulman, Shelly St. Pierre and Ed MacArthur
2006-07: Paul Sachs
Steamboat Springs Susan McIntosh is adjusting to her new life as an empty nester.
But she still remembers all the trips to Costco and the heavy loads of school supplies and snacks she would bring back to Steamboat Springs High School from the Front Range.
She remembers fielding calls and greeting students each week in the front office of the high school.
She remembers working for hours, year after year, to make sure students had a safe place to celebrate after prom.
“I just have a strong belief that teachers are under-appreciated, so I wanted to do all I could to support them and the schools,” McIntosh said Monday as she described why she started volunteering at Soda Creek Elementary School in 1998.
Her oldest son, Matthew, was a second-grader when the McIntosh family moved to the Yampa Valley.
After their youngest son, Owen, graduated from Steamboat Springs High School in June, Susan and her husband, Rusty, moved back to Mississippi. But the mother still is a star in the Steamboat Springs School District.
When high school Principal Kevin Taulman introduced Susan McIntosh to the Steamboat Springs School Board on Monday night as the district's 2011-12 “Friend of Education,” Taulman said the award wasn't merely recognizing McIntosh for one year of service but rather for more than a decade of volunteerism.
“I would say Susan is one of the most giving people you are ever going to meet,” Taulman said. “She's one of those people who put everyone else first before herself.”
McIntosh first started volunteering at Soda Creek by helping to organize teacher appreciation luncheons.
Her reach grew and evolved.
As her children grew older, McIntosh volunteered at the district's middle and high school campuses.
She was an active member of the district's booster club for several years. She served as co-president of the high school's Parent Information Committee. And she was a strong proponent of Relay For Life.
“It's very humbling to receive an award like this because there's lots and lots of parents that give a lot of time to the schools,” McIntosh said about being named the district's Friend of Education. “I consider it a very big honor.”
The School Board chooses a volunteer like McIntosh each year and honors them for all the time and energy they invest in the school district.
Karen Campbell, office manager at Steamboat Springs High School, said that although McIntosh never earned a paycheck for her weekly volunteerism, she was considered a co-worker and part of the school's family.
“She's just such a great person that people want to help her do things,” Campbell said. “People enjoy volunteering with her because she's fun to work with.”
To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com