Jefferson Award Winner: Sue Haigh - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Jefferson Award Winner: Sue Haigh

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Altoona (WQOW)- After nearly six years of volunteering at Pedersen Elementary School in Altoona there isn't much Sue Haigh hasn't done.

"I've helped in the classroom, I've popped popcorn, I help with fundraisers, I've helped with head lice checks, vision screening... just about anything," says Sue. "They know where they can find me!" Sue sets aside nearly 5 hours each day to volunteer at the school. The majority of her time is spent in the art room.

"We have a lot of volunteers here but I think Sue is probably one of the most dedicated," adds Donna Walther, art teacher at Pedersen. "I think she is just the ultimate volunteer. I feel like she's my fairy godmother, she just showed up on my doorstep one day and saw a need and has stuck around to help me."

Following a failed referendum and a round of budget cuts Sue says she's seen that need increase. "I've noticed a lot of changes in our school," Sue comments. "And I think that's part of the biggest reason why I spend more time here, the class sizes are larger, the demands are bigger on our teachers and staff and really the true heroes here are the teachers and staff, not me"

"We have 29 and 30 kids in our first and second grade classes," says Donna. "In order to teach that many students and to do a good job materials need to be prepared ahead of time. Sue's always the one there getting everything ready, cutting yarn and mixing paint and portioning out clay and all those things that I really wouldn't have the time to do"

If Sue isn't in a classroom, it's volunteering behind the scenes at the Chippewa Valley Theater Guild where you might find her.

"I think it's very important for a community to have the arts and music," says Sue. "Especially in the schools. Kids use a whole different part of their minds and bodies when they're involved in art and music and it would be really sad to see that go away."

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