CFISD recognizes numerous volunteers with VIPS Appreciation Event

Though many of the thousands of volunteers who help serve CFISD aren’t motivated by recognition, the district made sure to let all the extra supporters know how important they are.

CFISD does this annually with its Volunteers in Public Schools (VIPS) Appreciation Event, put on by the VIPS Executive Board. The 2018 ceremony was held May 2 at the Berry Center, with the event and reception underwritten by PBK and supported by many other sponsors.

0509 VIPS Appreciation 1CFISD Board members join Ault Elementary School students for a special cheer during the VIPS Appreciation Event at the Berry Center on May 2. 

An addition to collectively recognizing all district volunteers, the ceremony highlighted 11 individuals and supportive businesses and faith-based organizations with awards that included outstanding volunteer and mentor at elementary and secondary levels, Bus Buddies Award and community engagement awards for both nonprofit and for-profit organizations.

“All the volunteers, every single day throughout the school year, are coming in and serving but we don’t know (and) we’re not able to truly recognize them until this event,” said Kelli Ray, a VIPS Executive Board member leading community outreach.

Volunteers provide support at district, campus and organizational levels by serving as business partners, Adopt-a-School partners and mentors. They even include Board of Trustees members, who give up many hours of their personal time to help steer the third-largest school district in Texas and 22nd-biggest in the nation.

“You get to see the kids on an everyday basis (and) what they’re doing,” said Krista Guerrero, who serves as Post Elementary School’s PTO president. “When they see you, it puts a smile on their face and there’s nothing better.”

Added Klaudia Weston, a volunteer with the Langham Creek High School band: “You get to know all the kids, get to know all the parents and actually support the staff and administration.”

0509 VIPS Appreciation 4Heath Rushing, right, Memorial Hermann Cypress CEO, accepts a Community Engagement Award for the hospital from Becky Souther, CFISD Volunteers in Public Schools (VIPS) executive board member at the VIPS Appreciation Event on May 2.

The VIPS Appreciation Event filled the Berry Center arena, with administrators from individual campuses bringing signs and balloons to show their support for their volunteers.

Attendees were treated to numerous performances from students across CFISD. They ranged from the Cy-Fair High School Air Force JROTC presenting the colors and Sampson Elementary School first-grade student Coral Khieu performing Sonatina on the piano, to Spillane Middle School’s percussion ensemble performing a piece with dinnerware and Cypress Ranch High School senior Abigail Ayala singing I Dreamed a Dream.

The Board of Trustees joined Ault Elementary School cheerleaders for a combined performance to end the ceremony.

“The VIPS Appreciation Event is a wonderful opportunity each year to recognize our district volunteers and business partners,” said Leslie Francis, CFISD director of marketing and business relations. “We are so fortunate for the incredible support from our sponsors, who completely underwrite the event, as well as our extremely talented students and staff which provide the entertainment.”

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CFISD Community Cheerleader Spotlight: Tracie Barton

cheerleader-barton-27

As the third-largest school district in Texas and the largest employer in Northwest Harris County, Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District impacts the lives of far more than the 115,000 students and thousands of teachers, employees and administrators across 88 elementary, middle and high school campuses and special program facilities that study and work within our walls. In fact, we’re proud that as a top-rated school district, the work we do within our school system extends beyond the schools and permeates within our neighborhoods and businesses, making the greater Cypress-Fairbanks community a better place to work, live, study and play. The Cypress-Fairbanks community excels because of our CFISD cheerleaders; the individuals and businesses that invest in and support our students and community at large.

Today, we highlight Tracie Barton, chairman of the Volunteers in Public Schools (VIPS) Executive Board, as well as a parent volunteer and student mentor.

How long have you lived/worked in Cypress-Fairbanks?

16 years

Why are you so passionate about being a part of the Cypress-Fairbanks community?

When moving to Texas from Louisiana 16 years ago, the deciding factor on which part of Houston to live was education since our oldest child was about to start kindergarten. We chose Cypress-Fairbanks because of the reputation of the school district. I began volunteering at Lamkin Elementary, where my daughter was a student and she has since graduated from college. My youngest will be a senior this year at Cypress Ranch High School and I hope to continue as a mentor and active volunteer for many years to come. I adore the students and employees of the district! This community is full of passionate, wonderful people. I am proud to live in the Cypress-Fairbanks community.

How has Cypress-Fairbanks ISD impacted you, your family or your business?

Living in the school district has enabled my oldest daughter to attend her dream Ivy League school. With the guidance of her teachers starting in elementary school, they challenged her and planted the seed of dreaming big and to go after her dreams. Her teachers, coaches and staff members instilled in her that with hard work she could obtain anything she could imagine. They saw her potential and encouraged her.

What piece of advice would you like to give to Cypress-Fairbanks ISD students?

To follow your dreams because everything is within your reach if you just believe. We have Olympic athletes, professional athletes and television personalities who have all graduated from this district. No dream is too big!

What’s your favorite thing to do, see, eat or experience in our community?

Of course, my family would say SHOP! I would agree, along with working out at my local gym. Since moving to Cypress in 2001, our community has grown so rapidly. More great restaurants, the outlets and new gyms–all the while feeling like a small, quaint town. That’s what makes this community great!


Interested in getting involved, being featured as an upcoming Cheerleader (or featuring someone who you think makes our district great) or in learning more about how Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District makes the larger Cypress-Fairbanks community a better place to work, live, study and play for all of us? Visit CFISDSpirit.com to cheer along with our team!

CFISD Community Cheerleader Spotlight: Cyndi Matteson

cheerleader matteson-25

As the third-largest school district in Texas and the largest employer in Northwest Harris County, Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District impacts the lives of far more than the 115,000 students and thousands of teachers, employees and administrators across 88 elementary, middle and high school campuses and special program facilities that study and work within our walls. In fact, we’re proud that as a top-rated school district, the work we do within our school system extends beyond the schools and permeates within our neighborhoods and businesses, making the greater Cypress-Fairbanks community a better place to work, live, study and play. The Cypress-Fairbanks community excels because of our CFISD cheerleaders; the individuals and businesses that invest in and support our students and community at large.

Today, we highlight Cyndi Matteson, a global volunteer and member of the Volunteers in Public Schools (VIPS) Executive Board. In her spare time, she enjoys mentoring more than five students at five different CFISD schools.

Business:

Retired, sales management at US Foodservice

How long have you lived/worked in Cypress-Fairbanks?

10 years

Why are you so passionate about being a part of the Cypress-Fairbanks community?

The CFISD community has allowed me the ability to “give back” to kids of all ages in several of the schools. I supported my own child in his CFHS activities while also being able to help in so many areas like hospitality, many school VIPS opportunities and mentoring.

How has Cypress-Fairbanks ISD impacted you, your family or your business?

This district has allowed me to become involved in so many areas now that I am retired. I love being a global volunteer and traveling around the district meeting new people and helping out wherever there is a need. I’m blessed to be a part of many students lives as a mentor too.

What piece of advice would you like to give to Cypress-Fairbanks ISD students?

Each student has so many opportunities to excel and be all that they can be and never feel like they don’t have the support of the teachers and staff in their school. The resources, both during school as well as after school, within this district are exceptional and need to be taken advantage of by each student for growth and valuable experience.

What’s your favorite thing to do, see, eat or experience in our community?

I enjoy being outside walking or biking the many trails around the community with my family and friends. Having been in the food service/restaurant industry for 25-plus years, I enjoy checking out all the great restaurants, especially the new ones, that are all over the Cypress area.


Interested in getting involved, being featured as an upcoming Cheerleader (or featuring someone who you think makes our district great) or in learning more about how Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District makes the larger Cypress-Fairbanks community a better place to work, live, study and play for all of us? Visit CFISDSpirit.com to cheer along with our team!

CFISD Community Cheerleader Spotlight: Joseph Fitts

cheerleader-fitts-18

As the third-largest school district in Texas and the largest employer in Northwest Harris County, Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District impacts the lives of far more than the 115,000 students and thousands of teachers, employees and administrators across 88 elementary, middle and high school campuses and special program facilities that study and work within our walls. In fact, we’re proud that as a top-rated school district, the work we do within our school system extends beyond the schools and permeates within our neighborhoods and businesses, making the greater Cypress-Fairbanks community a better place to work, live, study and play. The Cypress-Fairbanks community excels because of our CFISD cheerleaders; the individuals and businesses that invest in and support our students and community at large.

Today, we highlight Joseph Fitts, a member of the Volunteers in Public Schools (VIPS) Executive Board and a global volunteer in the district.

Business:

Retired HR manager, oil and gas Industry

How long have you lived/worked in Cypress-Fairbanks?

Six years.

Why are you so passionate about being a part of the Cypress-Fairbanks community?

I have the opportunity to participate in and contribute to the educational development of elementary students in CFISD.

How has Cypress-Fairbanks ISD impacted you, your family or your business?

CFISD has provided the opportunity to impact elementary-age students through working in the library and participating in classroom reading.

What piece of advice would you like to give to Cypress-Fairbanks ISD students?

Take advantage of the many educational and extra-curricular programs offered in Cy-Fair ISD.

What’s your favorite thing to do, see, eat or experience in our community?

I enjoy dining at the wide variety of restaurants throughout the community. I also enjoy playing golf at a variety of courses both in our community and elsewhere in the metropolitan area.


Interested in getting involved, being featured as an upcoming Cheerleader (or featuring someone who you think makes our district great) or in learning more about how Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District makes the larger Cypress-Fairbanks community a better place to work, live, study and play for all of us? Visit CFISDSpirit.com to cheer along with our team!