Sandy Marcell, Iron County Head Start volunteer, pictured with child artist Kaitlynn Mathinson, 5, was presented with the Great Start January special mentor award. (Dickinson-Iron Great Start Collaborative photo)
IRON RIVER—The Dickinson-Iron Great Start Collaborative is proud to recognize special mentor Sally Marcell.
Marcell has been a volunteer with the Dickinson-Iron Intermediate School District (ISD) for the past 20 years.
“Sandy loves children. Each morning she rides the Iron River school bus with children and rides home from the Bates Early Childhood Center with children,” said Jonathan Ringel, Dickinson-Iron Great Start parent facilitator.
“Each day at the Bates Early Childhood Center, Sandy can be seen helping teachers with special requests, such as artwork, bulletin boards, filing, etc. Besides her role as a bus aide and teacher volunteer aide, Sandy helps with daily lunch duty and makes sure special family notes are put into children’s backpacks.”
Sandy and her husband have lived in Iron River for the past 46 years. She was born in Ohio and moved to Iron River with her Navy sweetheart and six-week-old daughter in 1966.
She has three grown children and six grandchildren, ranging in age from 8 months to 23 years old, a college granddaughter.
“Because Sandy loves to be with children almost every waking moment, on weekends she babysits and does volunteer work at St. Vincent de Paul. Sandy strongly believes being surrounded by children helps to keep her young and energized.”
Her experience with children has given her the opportunity to see children’s social and emotional health close up.
She has seen that young children need a basic curriculum, structure and a consistent routine each day, said Ringel.
“Sandy understands that children need daily play, especially outdoors. Sandy also has noticed that some children need to be emotionally comforted during the school day,” he said.
“Look into their faces and their eyes tell a story and their faces often tell you what they need,” said Sandy.
Just like the children, the staff at Bates Early Childhood Center love to be around Sandy, said Ringel.
“It is volunteers like Sandy Marcell who makes our schools and world a better place. It is community leaders like Sandy that help to keep Michigan’s Great Start and Early Childhood Movement here to stay,” said Ringel.
“Sandy has touched the lives of so many children and the Great Start Special Mentor award is a reminder that her kindness, giving and caring, is greatly appreciated by her school and community.”