- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
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For her nine years of volunteering at Dr. James Craik Elementary School and Milton M. Somers Middle School, parent volunteer Christy Prenger was recognized by Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot (D) on Tuesday.
Franchot told students at Craik that there are many dedicated teachers, maintenance workers, bus drivers, administrators and others who get paid because of the great job they do for children in schools each day.
He said there also are many other key people around the state who work hard for students and do not get paid.
Those people, he said, were volunteers such as Prenger.
As a way to recognize volunteers in the school community, Franchot said this year the state established the Golden Apple Award.
Each jurisdiction has a Golden Apple recipient, and Franchot explained that Prenger was chosen to be Charles County’s for her dedication to reading to students, helping with classroom activities and planning events, such as carnivals, at the school.
Prenger was presented the award in her daughter, Kelly’s second-grade classroom. Kelly stood with her mom, Charles County Sheriff Rex Coffey (D), Register of Wills Loraine D. Hennessey (D) and Superintendent of Schools James E. Richmond as Franchot presented the award.
Prenger said she began volunteering at Craik when her eldest child, Camryn, now 13, began at the elementary school.
Camryn and brother Brad, 11, now attend Somers.
Prenger said while Kelly graduates in three years, she might come back to Craik to continue volunteering.
“I just love working with the kids,” she said.
Prenger is a stay-at-home mom and volunteers at the elementary school and middle school when needed.
“She helps people, and she helps the school get the stuff they need,” Ashlynn Pagano, 8, said.
Ashlynn said Prenger is a “really nice person.”
Prenger told students Tuesday that she would see them again Thursday for a Valentine’s Day party in the class, at which time the students cheered.
According to information from Franchot’s office, the Golden Apple Award was created to recognize the work of individuals and organizations who donate their time and resources to volunteer at public schools throughout Maryland.
Craik Principal Penny Nye said it takes dedicated parents such as Prenger to make education work.
“The school couldn’t be what it is without that dedication,” she said.
Volunteers, she said, “help bring the school and community together.”
Richmond said the school system is “truly blessed” to have Prenger as a volunteer. He acknowledged the many volunteers helping out in the schools and said, “That’s what makes this system run, all the people working together for children.”