Today we highlight Stan Lepird, one of eight individuals and organizations honored at the annual Champ Celebration. CIS Board Member Carol McGlinn, along with Phillip Hegwood, CIS After School Coordinator at Woodward School for Technology & Research presented the award.
Stan Lepird, or “Mr. Stan” as he is known throughout the halls of Woods Lake Elementary School, has been volunteering as a tutor with CIS for the past three years. He was inspired to connect to CIS when he heard Lori Moore on the radio asking for volunteers. Originally, he signed up to volunteer one day a week and the CIS Site Coordinator connected him to a second grade classroom. But as the weeks went by, he saw unmet needs of other students. That one day a week? Well, it’s now turned into five days a week in three different second grade classes!
Mr. Stan, an engineer who is now retired from Stryker, has a wonderful wife, Sherry, three children, and seven grandchildren. He shows up every day with a smile and endless amounts of patience. He is a regular fixture in the halls, working one on one with 12-15 second graders in math. He even follows up with previous students, now in 3rd and 4th grade, and will quiz them on their math facts as the pass each other in the hall. He helps students with their homework and asks them how their day is going. He remembers birthdays, sibling’s names and other important events in the student’s lives.
For the holidays, he even took it upon himself to purchase t-shirts Mrs. Cook’s entire second grade classroom. The shirts read: Team Cook.
A humble man, Mr. Stan says this about his volunteer experience: “My time at Woods Lake has been very rewarding, but it has become more than just helping them with their studies. I have met and developed friendships with some very sweet, kind seven and eight year olds whom I would not have had the opportunity to meet in my normal life’s path. I feel very blessed to be able to work with these students and, hopefully, help them learn some of the skills they will need to become successful throughout their remaining school years.”
Mr. Stan is thankful for the CIS staff at Woods Lake, Donielle Hetrick and Maureen Cartmill. He also thanks second grade teachers, Mrs. Cook, Mr. Berlin, and Mrs. Wilson-Bridges for making accommodations in their schedules to enable the tutoring sessions. Their kindness and commitment to their students is a huge help,” he says. “I feel blessed to be able to use the gift God has given me.”
Earlier this school year, when CIS after school coordinator Donielle Hetrick asked him how tutoring was going, he just smiled and said, “I feel like I’m doing what I was always meant to do: work with and tutor students.” Mr. Stan is an integral part of the Woods Lake family. He is a friend to talk to, an ear that listens, and a laugh when you need it most. He is a consistent, caring adult who shows up rain or shine, to be there for students.
As one second grader puts it, “Mr. Stan doesn’t give you the answers. He shows you how to figure out and get the answers yourself.”
Stan Lepird, we thank you for helping kids stay in school and achieve in life.
Tune into CW7 this afternoon at 4pm to watch CIS Volunteer Stan Lepird and CIS After School Coordinator Donielle Hetrick on The Lori Moore Show.