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The Lenape Regional High School District (LRHSD) Board of Education hosted its annual Volunteer Appreciation Night on May 12 where students and parents from each high school were recognized for their commitment to serving others.
The ceremony included a video highlighting the work of each student honoree and remarks by a representative from each high school about their respective parent volunteer.
“These award recipients have demonstrated a commitment and dedication toward service and volunteerism, as well as leadership that truly inspires others to do the same in their own communities,” said LRHSD Assistant Superintendent Matthew Webb.
Students awarded for service are seniors Samantha Schultheis from Seneca High School, Christina Ackerman from Shawnee High School, Elizabeth Maschke from Lenape High School, and Alyssa Miles from Cherokee High School.
The students also received scholarships provided by The Lenape Regional Foundation, Inc.
Samantha Schultheis learned early in her life the dedication and work ethic needed to be successful. Her responsibilities on her family’s farm gave Sam a strong foundation to build on and nurture her inner leader. Sam’s desire to use her leadership skills to serve the school and community are genuine.
Through her work on the farm, she had the opportunity to work with Farmers Against Hunger, a nonprofit organization that brings leftover produce from farmer’s markets to distribute in lower income areas to help reduce food waste and to reduce food insecurity.
Samantha has also worked with the nonprofit Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos (NPH) through the Spanish Club at Seneca. NPH fundraises to help vulnerable children in Latin America and the Caribbean to overcome their challenges.
Christina Ackerman was engaged in numerous acts of service both in and out of school. She volunteered at Give Kids the World Village, a nonprofit “storybook” resort in Kissimmee, Florida, where she helped create memories for critically ill children and their families.
She helped organize a Perform-A-Thon fundraiser with both The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and The Ronald McDonald House. Christina was also the Assistant Director for the Medford Panthers Players. She provided guidance to middle schoolers through dance, stage blocking, set design and vocals.
Elizabeth Maschke decided to make a positive impact on her community through creating masks for first responders and healthcare workers. Liz’s selfless work contributed to the creation of nearly 500 masks to ensure these heroes could safely work and continue treating their patients.
She has also volunteered her time in Lenape High School activities such as Circle of Friends and is a member of the National Honor Society.
Liz is also an active member of Hug Wraps, an organization that serves patients currently undergoing cancer treatment, a cause she is passionate about because of her own personal experience with her dad.
Seeing the toll that treatments had on her father motivated her to contribute in any way she could. Liz’s effort, dedication, and service are truly appreciated and will guide her well on her journey to happiness and success.
Alyssa Miles has been involved in many pageants over the years, however she jumped at the opportunity to compete in the ECUSA system because of its focus on volunteering.
She was awarded their highest title, Miss East Coast USA National Ultimate Grand Supreme.
She is on the International Foundation for Gastric Disorders’ patient advisory board where they create informational pamphlets, plan fundraising and informational events and provide encouragement for afflicted children.
She works with children suffering from traumatic head injuries through the Holton’s Heroes program.
Alyssa is also founding member of Feeding the Front Lines, collecting inspirational cards for our COVID front-line workers, and raising funds to donate meals for them.
The parent volunteers recognized for their service are Tom Besser, Marlene Bollar, Mark McKenna, Beth Heine and Cindy Kelly.
Tom Besser is an active member of the 12th Man Club, Seneca’s football booster club, and plays an important role behind the scenes that benefits many of Seneca High School’s student-athletes and athletic programs.
Additionally, Mr. Besser plans events that honor the students for their successes both on and off the field such as Prom House 110 Carranza and Senior Sendoff. He has also helped organize events such as Green and Gold Day, Military & Frontline Tailgate, Youth Tailgate and Senior Day.
This award is well-deserved and well-earned because of the countless hours Mr. Besser puts in for our Seneca Family.
Marlene Bollar has led the Lenape Parent-Teacher Organization throughout the pandemic and has been instrumental in providing many meaningful recognitions to students and staff throughout this challenging period.
Items/events like lawn signs for graduating seniors, a socially distanced replacement for Project Graduation, grab and go lunches for teachers, and many others have been greatly appreciated by everyone involved.
Ms. Bollar has a fantastic way of involving people and producing great results for the betterment of the Lenape Community.
Mark McKenna has consistently been an active member of Cherokee Champions, the organizing committee for resurfacing the turf field. He was a major donor for that project and is also a major donor for the annual Alumni and Friends Golf Tournament.
This past year when we were unable to have the golf tournament, he organized an alumni event to raise funds to make up for the lack of fundraisers we were able to hold. Mr. McKenna is an individual the Cherokee Community can always count on for his continued involvement in numerous programs over the years.
Beth Heine and Cindy Kelly were instrumental in rallying almost 100 Shawnee parents to create a series of senior celebrations such as Senior Field Day, Senior Walk, Beach Towel Social and more.
They have raised approximately $30,000 to help fund their efforts. Beth and Cindy were motivated by the sole purpose to help give the Shawnee senior class some return of normalcy.
“These individuals selflessly give their time and energy in support of others. We know that they do not seek, nor expect, recognition for their service, but we are honored to highlight their efforts and accomplishments,” said LRHSD Superintendent Carol Birnbohm, Ed.D. “Their leadership helps strengthen our district’s culture of civic engagement, because they inspire others to follow in their footsteps and incorporate service into their everyday lives.”
The Lenape Regional High School District’s four high schools – Lenape, Shawnee, Cherokee, and Seneca – as well as the Sequoia Alternative Program, educate approximately 6,850 students from eight communities in Burlington County.
The communities served include Evesham, Medford, Medford Lakes, Mount Laurel, Shamong, Southampton, Tabernacle, and Woodland.
The Lenape Regional District is among the highest-achieving districts in the state, with an average graduation rate of 97.4% and an average combined SAT score of 1139.
A leader in progressive education, the LRHSD’s mission is to develop physically and emotionally healthy students who excel in an everchanging world.