Each month, they volunteer a combined total of 120 hours inside Cobb Schools. When they see something that needs to be done at the school, they step in to help. They recruit others in the community to volunteer at the schools. They consistently give of their time to help support the school staff and boost student success.
Those are the traits of the three Cobb County School District 2018 Volunteers of the Year (VOTY): Lucy Sharpe, Elementary School Level VOTY from Austell Elementary School; Marie Stockton, Middle School Level VOTY from Griffin Middle School; and Troy Jones, High School Level VOTY from McEachern High School.
Sharpe was especially excited to receive the award because she views herself as a representative of all the grandparents like herself who volunteer in the schools.
“When you are a parent, you can’t do as many things as you would like, but when you are the grandparent or retired, your time is a little different,” explained Sharpe, whose grandchild attends Austell Elementary School. “You can give to your grandchildren in a different way that may not have been able to do for your children.”
Delinda Jiles, a teacher at Austell Elementary, credited Sharpe with designing the school yearbook in a way that will be fun for the students as well as educational. According to Jiles, Sharpe is the type of person who is always surrounded by children. She is caring, giving, and definitely humble.
“When I volunteer, I get excited by the energy of the children,” Sharpe said smiling. “I have always volunteered. Volunteerism has just been a part of my life. I volunteer a lot.”
Even though she has volunteered at Austell about 100 hours over the past few months, Sharpe still finds time to volunteer elsewhere including the Fernbank Museum, Governor’s mansion, and Chick-fil-A sporting events.
The Middle School Level VOTY, Marie Stockton, splits her time between Campbell High School and Griffin Middle School.
“In my three years at Griffin Middle School, Marie has been involved in almost every aspect of our school,” Griffin Principal Paul Gillihan said with praise. “She does hearing and vision screenings and scoliosis screenings. She runs the school store. Any time I need something done, I will call Marie, and she is right there on the spot.”
Stockton started volunteering as a way to support her family, but now she cherishes the interactions she has had helping the school staff members.
“I get so much pleasure out of serving the team that the principal has assembled at Griffin,” the Volunteer of the Year added. “They work so hard every day. It is nice to be able to do things to raise money to recognize them.”
On average, Stockton is at Griffin two to three days per week, but there have been some weeks when Stockton clocked in 30 hours, arriving every school morning and not leaving until the afternoon.
The High School Level Volunteer of the Year, Troy Jones, started volunteering when he was 17, and he hasn’t stopped since then. Of his almost four decades of volunteering, Jones has spent the past 12 years volunteering at McEachern High School. He also volunteers at Powder Springs Elementary and Tapp Middle School.
“For the last 37 years, I have been mentoring young men and women from middle school and high school,” the father of six explained. “It’s not about me. It’s about the kids.”
Jones, who serves as PTA president, started the Men in Action (MIA) program at McEachern to encourage dads to get involved at school and to challenge their kids to do the best they can in life.
“Troy works hard to bring in people who can help our students and help our school be a better place,” Principal Regina Montgomery said. “We need people in our students’ lives as mentors and volunteers to help our students achieve the most they can achieve.”
After almost four decades of volunteering with kids, there’s a reason Jones keeps going.
“There are lives at stake that need our help,” Jones said.