Kettering school aide, Alter senior named top city volunteers



Peggy Spencer has donated so much time at Greenmont Elementary School in Kettering through the years that some students call her Nana.

Sophia Shenk, an Alter High School senior set to graduate with honors, has given more than 400 hours to help a handful of area organizations.

The pair’s efforts were recently recognized by Kettering as they were named the city’s top adult and youth volunteers, respectively, in a program that has more than 650 members, according to the city.



The annual Mayor’s Award for Volunteer Service is “one of my favorite initiatives,” according to Kettering Mayor Peggy Lehner.

“Kettering is fortunate to have a strong team of volunteers who give of their time and talent to contribute to our great city,” Lehner said when the city started seeking nominations earlier this year.

“Let’s not forget how fortunate we are to reap the benefits of their hard work. From sustainability to strategic planning and everything imaginable in between, our volunteers are right there to help — and we are truly grateful.”



Established in 1983, the award honors those in Kettering making contributions through servicing in a variety of categories, according to the city. Recipients must either live in Kettering or volunteer there.

Spencer received 18 nominations, said Dawn Kirchner, city volunteer administrator.

When her son and grandchildren attended Greenmont, Spencer helped with the PTA, coordinating fairs and fundraisers, Kirchner said.

With her son and grandchildren now “long since” gone from the school, “Ms. Peggy still happily and tirelessly prepares daily and weekly materials for teachers” in a variety of ways, she added.

“She often takes projects home to complete, collects recycling throughout the building, helps in the cafeteria, sooths nervous students on picture day, and even assists with kindergarten registration,” Kirchner said.

Shenk has helped the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, St. Vincent de Paul, Learning Tree Farm, the Girls Scouts, and has been an Alter student ambassador and a Hope Squad peer facilitator, Kirchner said.

Shenk’s nomination letter stated, “she is a young lady who demonstrates respect, responsibility, kindness and perseverance” while being a “humble role model for her peers and teachers.”

Shenk has a 4.2 grade point average while taking AP and honors classes, Kirchner said. She plans to attend Miami University and major in political science.

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