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Volunteer of the Month: January

Reported by on 1/19/17

It has been said, "Where words leave off, music begins." For the hundreds of students, family members, alumni and faculty of the Metea Valley Fine Arts Department, Linda Watkins has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to support the school's outstanding music program. For her dedication and commitment, Linda is being recognized as the District 204 BMO Harris Bank Volunteer of the Month.

"I am extremely honored and overwhelmed with this recognition," she said. "I have cherished the opportunity to give back to the district that has nurtured so many young minds, including those of my two children. I am humbled, as I really share this award with scores of parents who I have worked with over the past 17 years."

Linda began volunteering 17 years ago at Brookdale Elementary School, then moved on to Hill Middle School and, in 2009, brought her talents to Metea Valley when it opened. She became involved with the music program when it initially had about 300 students. Today, her work supports 900 students and their families.

In 2012, she helped establish the Association of Music Parents that includes choir, orchestra and band parents and served as president for three years. She also helps to organize the hundreds of volunteers needed annually to assist with the large music events at the school.

"In order to preserve the history of Metea's incredible music program, I worked to establish the Music Department Alumni Tent at the 2016 Fine Arts Festival," Linda said. "The area displayed music department history, student testimonials on how the music program impacted their lives and a slide show of photos dating back to 2009. The tent was visited by more than 100 alumni students and will be replicated at future Fine Arts Festivals."

The Ann Arbor native moved to Naperville in 1986 and admitted she always had the volunteer "bug" from a young age, thanks to the inspiration of her wonderful mother who served as a tremendous role model, exemplifying the value of giving back, not only locally, but globally. While carrying on the family tradition of volunteering, Linda looks toward the future by continuing to create detailed notes on event protocol and establishing guidelines to make it easier for the next generation of parent volunteers.

"Parent involvement is crucial to any school, as it helps to build a strong community," Linda said. "All parents have skills and talents that can visibly support District 204 programs. We all have something to give."

BMO Harris Bank is helping District 204 recognize one volunteer each month who has generously given his or her time to support District 204's students and schools. To celebrate these outstanding volunteers, BMO Harris Bank is donating $1,000 to the volunteer's school. To nominate an outstanding volunteer, visit

Volunteer of the Month Candid Photo
Metea Valley High School volunteer Linda Watkins is the District 204 BMO Harris Bank Volunteer of the Month for January.

Volunteer of the Month Receives Check
Photo (l to r): BMO Harris Bank-Naperville Branch Manager Nicki McIntyre, Metea Valley High School Principal Dr. Darrel Echols, District 204 BMO Harris Bank Volunteer of the Month recipient Linda Watkins and Neil McManus, Market President - BMO Harris Bank.

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