Volunteer of the Month: September

Reported by on 10/20/22

(Due to a scheduling conflict at the September IPPC meeting, the September Volunteer of the Month award was presented at the October 20 meeting.)

Gina Secrist has been involved with many volunteer activities over the last ten years at Brookdale Elementary School. Because of her extensive involvement in Brookdale’s PTA, she is being honored as the September BMO Harris Bank District 204 Volunteer of the Month.

Gina has three children in the district, a fifth grader at Brookdale Elementary School, a seventh grader at Hill Middle School, and a freshman at Metea Valley High School. She has been involved with numerous volunteer activities including chairing the Staff Appreciation Week, helping the Brookdale assembly committee, and organizing volunteers to be the Brookdale morning greeter. Gina has also chaired Tokens for Teachers which recognizes staff birthdays each month, celebrates district anniversaries, as well as lounge treat days, and acknowledgement of big staff moments.

In the community, Gina has served as the director of outreach on the board of directors for Little Giraffe Foundation since 2012. In addition to helping select recipients annually to receive research grants and NICU support grants, she also manages acquisition and distribution of children’s books and baby toys to be delivered to eleven Chicagoland hospital NICUs throughout the year.

Her nomination states, “Gina's ability to see opportunities to help without being asked and creating easy, efficient, and effective programs in response is something that I, as a new 204 parent, have truly admired. She is well known and respected at Brookdale, and I am grateful for her leadership, willingness to help, and commitment to our school's community and goals.”

Gina volunteers because her mother was involved with the PTA, Market Day, and she was Gina’s girl scout troop leader for many years. Her mother set an example for Gina on the importance of helping where you can. Gina also loves the opportunity to get to know all her children’s teachers and how things work at the schools.
Volunteer of the Month Check Photo
L – R Keeley Schmid, Brookdale Principal; Gina Secrist, September Volunteer of the Month; Bart Puchalski, BMO Harris Bank Vice President; Doug Eccarius, IPSD Deputy Superintendent

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.