Derry school volunteer earns a treasure for her scrapbook
DERRY - For West Running Brook Middle School Principal Leslie Saucier, Valerie Dudley is the dictionary definition of the word volunteer.
At Tuesday night's school board meeting, Dudley was named the middle school's Volunteer of the Year.
Dudley's volunteer efforts run the gamut from teaching a tutorial on scrapbooking, to making treats for the school's athletic teams, to being the school's unofficial photographer, to making decorations for school dances and events.
"She does it all out of the generosity of her heart and is there whenever and wherever she is needed," said Saucier.
The youngest of her two daughters is moving on to Pinkerton Academy next year, but Dudley said she expects to remain involved at West Running Brook.
"I will follow my girls and help with the sports there, but I enjoy it here (at West Running Brook) so much that I'm going to stay," she said.
Dudley said she first became heavily involved in volunteering at the school after she suffered a workplace injury about 4½ years ago.
"It was very rehabilitative for me to get out," Dudley said, adding she especially enjoyed the chance to photograph a wide range of school events.
"It's a joy to see the kids' faces, and the teachers and parents enjoy it, too," she said. "For me, it's a hobby but for them it is something special."
Dudley said she has also enjoyed the tutorial on scrapbooking she has been leading this year.
"The children have really taken to it," she said. "It is amazing to see some of the talent here and working with them is fun."
Dudley was presented with a certificate of appreciation for her volunteer efforts from the school board and Superintendent Laura Nelson.