The Carbon chapter of the Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees (PASR) presented educational support grants and honored recipients of the PASR Lauretta Woodson Awards for their outstanding contributions to education at its fall membership meeting at the Mahoning Valley Ambulance Building on Oct. 17.

The chapter honored members Sandra Kokinda, inducted into PASR's "John J. Dillon Service Hall of Fame," and James Walp, Carbon's Volunteer of the Year for 2012. Chapter President Marjorie Balliet presided.

With a patriotic theme for the meeting, military veterans in the chapter were recognized for their service to the country. The American Legion Color Guard stood at attention while Henry Long played Taps in memory of the departed veterans.

Educational Support Chairperson Jill DeLong presented the Educational Support Grants. Those receiving grants include:

Ÿ Mary Ellen Greco, school counselor in the Panther Valley Elementary School, will be implementing an anti-bullying program for grades K-3 by using the SHARK Patrol (Students Help Achieve Respect and Kindness). This project will benefit 585 students in the elementary school program.

Ÿ Nora Oswald, math teacher at Jim Thorpe Area High School, is starting a Note-taker of the Day (NOD) program in her Algebra 1 classes. This new procedure will help any student who was absent for the lesson or any student who needs a review.

Ÿ Denise Stadnik, art teacher for grades 9-12 in the Weatherly Area High School, will have her students do a research project on an artist and then choose one piece of artwork from that artist. The students will then paint flower boxes in the style of the artist.

The boxes, built by students in the shop classes at the high school, will be donated to the Weatherly Community Library to be auctioned in mid-June. This project will benefit 80 art students, 60 industrial arts students, and the entire community.

Ÿ Christine Steigerwalt, principal of Towamensing Elementary School in the Palmerton School District, will be using the grant to supply each incoming kindergarten student and his/her parents with a book at kindergarten registration. Each book will contain a 'Welcome to Palmerton' bookmark, information on the importance of reading, and activities that can be done with their child. The project will benefit 135-150 students at both Palmerton elementary schools

Also recognized at the dinner were Christopher Holub, history teacher at Jim Thorpe Area High School, and Denise Budd, food service manager at JTAHS, recipients of the PASR Lauretta Woodson Awards, for their outstanding contributions to education.

Member Sandra Kokinda was inducted into the PASR "John J. Dillon Service Hall of Fame" for 2012. Under Sandra's leadership as president for two terms, Carbon was honored as an outstanding chapter with top awards at the PASR State Convention. Her skills have not gone unnoticed at the region and state levels, and she now serves as state RECREO chair.

In 2010 she was honored as a Volunteer of the Year, having donated many hours to civic service. Among her many accomplishments, Sandra has also authored a book presenting the history of Carbon County consumer science teachers. She is "truly a leader to emulate," remarked one of the members.

As Volunteer of the Year for 2012, James Walp has totaled 655 volunteer hours. He has played roles in phone banks, voter registration, door-to-door information delivery, and any other support needed for his party.

He has worked at the Carbon County Fair, Palmerton Festival, was chairman of the Scholarship Committee for the Lehighton Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons and served as mentor to its new members. Walp was part of the committee instrumental in having the Lehighton Annex Building renamed for a classmate of his, who was killed in Vietnam.

The TIMES NEWS received a PASR Media Recognition Award for its detailed news coverage of special events and publicizing other chapter activities during the year.

For more information about the Carbon Chapter PASR, visit