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Comptroller recognizes Emma K. Doub Elementary volunteer

Peter Franchot presented Heather Placie with a Golden Apple Award for her service

April 11, 2013|By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com
  • Emma K. Doub Elementary School volunteer and substitute teacher Heather Placie, center, accepted a Golden Apple award from Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, right, Thursday afternoon during a ceremony held in her honor in the school's all purpose room. At left is Washington County Board of Education Vice President Paul Bailey.
By Joe Crocetta, Staff Photographer

Heather Placie got choked up on Emma K. Doub Elementary School’s stage Thursday afternoon as she looked out at about 270 students and dozens of teachers and staff while being honored for her volunteer work for the school.

“I’m going to try to hold this together,” Placie told the crowd, while Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot and Washington County Public Schools officials looked on.

“I have strived every day to be here for you,” Placie told the children.

“The purpose, in my heart, of a volunteer is to do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, even though you know that no one, or very few people, are going to notice,” Placie told the crowd.

Franchot awarded Placie, 41, of the Funkstown area, a Golden Apple Award and certificate for her volunteerism at the South End elementary school.

After Placie was applauded several times and received a standing ovation from the students, Franchot stepped back up to the microphone to say he knows how much Placie gets back from “all of you” and that’s “why it’s so emotional.”

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“I recognize love when I see it and today I saw a lot of love for one you really appreciate and know has been of great service to your school,” Board of Education Vice President Paul Bailey told the crowd.

Placie said she started volunteering for the school system when her eldest child, Zane, attended school in Funkstown. All three of her children have attended Doub, including Zane, 13; Savannah, 11; and Dehlia, 7, who had a front row seat for Thursday’s festivities. Placie’s husband, Jordan, also attended the ceremony.

Placie recently began a long-term substitution job at Doub. She told teachers she had already appreciated them, but that appreciation had grown a lot more in the week since she took on the assignment.

She also volunteers for the school and its PTA, for whom she is currently vice president. Placie said the amount of time she volunteers at Doub averages out to about an hour a school day.

Franchot said his office was awarding a Golden Apple Award and certificate to someone in each county — to people who represent “the highest ideals of volunteerism.”

“There’s so much compassion and leadership and countless hours that she’s dedicated to this school,” Franchot said after the ceremony.

Doub Principal Catherine Poling nominated Placie for the honor.

“You can see it in the hallways, you feel it in our classrooms. ... When she’s working with kids, they just love working with her. So she has warmth about her and knowledge. They respect her, but they know that she truly cares about them as students and individuals,” Poling said.

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