Pioneer Ladies Civitan awards

In May, the Pioneer Ladies Civitan held an awards banquet for “Special Education Teacher of the Year” and “Citizen of the Year.”

Following the dinner, the awards program began with the reading of a nomination for Rachel Wakefield, psychologist for Fort Frye Local Schools. Wakefield was nominated by Karen Kubota, district curriculum director/LDC for “Special Education Person of the Year” for her dedicated work in bring special presentations to teachers in the Fort Frye district that teach ways to identify and work with special needs students. Wakefield accepted her award and voiced her appreciation to the club and to the staff in her school district.

The next written nomination was sent by Rachael Tullius, assistant principal at Fort Frye High School, nominating Derek Sidwell for “Special Education Teacher of the Year.” Sidwell teaches at Fort Frye High School. His students range from seventh to 12th grades with a variety of ability levels. The nomination added that Sidwell has built a positive rapport with his students through encouragement and personal attention. Sidwell was not able to attend the awards dinner, but the award will be given to him by one of his co-workers.

The “Citizen of the Year” award was present to Judy Watson. Watson was nominated by Dorothy Peppel. Peppel described her as “The Angel of Devola” for her acts of kindness to her neighbors in the Devola area. Peppel was surprised by this award and she was accompanied by many of her friends who have been past recipients of her helpful deeds.

Pioneer Ladies Civitan is a local nonprofit volunteer service organization.

They are dedicated to helping people in the community. As part of Civitan International, they help whenever the need arises — from collecting food for local food pantries, high school “Citizenship” awards, Washington County Home projects, Ewing School and WASCO projects to name a few. In the 1950s Civitan adopted a special emphasis on helping people with developmental disabilities.

Civitan is a major supporters of Special Olympics, locally, state-wide and internationally.

The Pioneer Ladies meet at 7 p.m. the first Thursday and the third Tuesday of each month at Gilman United Methodist Church.