Derek Hagedorn, a volunteer at Eastern Wayne High School for 26 years, was named 2018-2019 Terry Eugene Pilkington Volunteer of the Year for Wayne County Public Schools.
The annual award is given in memory of Pilkington, who worked for the district for 20 years and coordinated the volunteer program.
Individual volunteers of the year at each of the 32 schools were also presented with certificates and three Partners in Education were recognized for supporting schools during the past year.
Hagedorn has invested an estimated 340 hours serving Eastern Wayne in a variety of ways — from managing the scoreboard for the school’s soccer programs to serving as a test proctor, assisting with beautification efforts and securing donations of computers and furniture for classrooms.
His wife, Missy, is a hearing impaired interpreter at the school and the couple’s two sons attended the Eastern Wayne schools. But Derek’s interest in being a volunteer started long before their children came along.
“I always say, when you marry a teacher, it’s kind of part of the package,” Missy said.
Derek shrugged off any credit, saying that he was simply trying to do his part. Since retiring from the Air Force, he also juggles a job as a contractor on the Air Force base.
“I guess I have been that way forever,” he said. “If I have the time or ability to do it, I’ll do it.”
Lee Johnson, principal of Eastern Wayne, praised Derek for all his efforts to support the school’s athletic program.
“Derek is one of those rare individuals who cares more for others than himself,” she said. “He faithfully and in a sacrificial manner gives his time and sweat equity to make the school a better place to teach, learn and participate in extra-curricular activities.”
In addition to a certificate and a plaque, Derek was presented with a $50 gift card from Wal-Mart and a $25 gift card from Sam’s Club.
Ken Derksen, WCPS communications and public relations officer, said that the district relies on the efforts of volunteers in the schools — be it a one-time commitment as chaperone for a field trip or filling in answering phones to longterm dedication of months and even years assisting where needed.
“We have never captured the number of volunteers in our schools but as of today, we hit approximately 4,200 applications to be volunteers in our schools since August,” he told the audience during the Wednesday evening ceremony, at the WCPS Professional Development and Family Engagement Center.
“Every volunteer is doing a different thing in a different way but ultimately make a huge difference in a very collective way.”
Partners in Education was launched in 1995 to honor businesses and organizations that donate time, expertise, materials and funds. There are currently more than 180 businesses and organizations supporting the county schools.
Three awards were presented in the category, divided by number or employees or members — small for one to 15 employees or members, medium for 15-50 people, and large for more than 50 members.
Steve Sutton Farm Bureau Insurance, nominated by Northeast Elementary, received recognition in the small category. The medium award went to Second Birth Christian Ministries for actively supporting Dillard Middle School for the past eight years. Falling Creek United Methodist Church received the large award for having served Grantham Elementary School in a variety of ways.
Individual volunteers of the year for the district include Jane Ellen Beaman, Brogden Middle; Sharon Smith, Brogden Primary; Brooke Broadway, Carver Elementary; Anthony Goodson, Carver Heights Elementary; Shawn Harris, Charles B. Aycock High; Emily Peacock, Dillard Middle; Beverly Foss, Eastern Wayne Elementary; Alma Rivera Donato, Eastern Wayne Middle; Karla Carter, Edgewood; Marcia Mooring, Fremont STARS; Delavisha Faison, Goldsboro High; Rhianna Sykes, Grantham Elementary; Sandra Purvis, Grantham Middle; and Kristin Brown, Greenwood Middle.
Also, Ruth Ann Showinka, Meadow Lane Elementary; Dwayne McKay, Mount Olive Middle; Walter Ham, North Drive Elementary; Grayling and Vivian Ann Batchelor, Northeast Elementary; Marsha Boyett, Northwest Elementary; Shelley Radford, Norwayne Middle; Jessica Jefferies, Rosewood Elementary; Pamela Adkins-German, Rosewood High; Bobby Clayton, Rosewood Middle; Judy Johnson, Southern Wayne High; Dee Overman, Spring Creek Elementary; Allen Nichols, Spring Creek High; Shonda Outlaw, Spring Creek Middle; Susanna Miller, Tommy’s Road Elementary; Kim Klages, Wayne Early/Middle College High; Mark Helms, Wayne Middle/High Academy; and Michael LeVan, Wayne School of Engineering.