‘The eye of the storm’Published 12:04pm Friday, April 5, 2013
An Albert Lea woman has been awarded the 2013 Service to Mankind Award for her volunteer work in the community, particularly to support local youth projects.
The award by the local Sertoma Club to Stephanie Sherman, 41, is given each year to a person who actively volunteers to make positive changes in the area.
“I felt very honored,” said Sherman, a mother of three daughters.
Sherman has been involved in fundraising at both Lakeview Elementary and Southwest Middle schools.
At Lakeview, she was a member of the parent-teacher organization and spent numerous volunteer hours on the phone gathering donations and organizing volunteers for the school’s annual fun night, according to a news release by the Sertoma Club.
At Southwest, she helped restart the parent group and has been the chairwoman for the Tiger Trot 5K fundraiser in 2012 and 2013.
“She handles people and stressful situations without losing her cool,” said Southwest Principal Jean Jordan. “Steph is usually the calm in the eye of the storm when everyone else is starting to get stressed with all the loose ends that can be a part of any school-community effort.”
Jordan described Sherman as a “great role model for our kids.”
Sherman said she is passionate about the city doing well.
“If people don’t come together as a community to get stuff done, it won’t get done,” Sherman said.
She said she grew up in Albert Lea, and after leaving the community to attend college, she moved back to town in 1999.
“It’s such a beautiful town, and it has so much opportunity,” Sherman said. “It’s a nice community and a great place to raise kids.”
She is married to her husband, Jade, and has three daughters, two 14-year-olds and one 10-year-old.
In addition to volunteering for the schools, she also works as a substitute teacher for grades kindergarten through 12th grade.
She works with youth on Sunday morning in a faith formation class at St. Theodore Catholic Church and is a member of the Albert Lea Youth Soccer Association, she said.
She also has a part-time position at the Albert Lea Family Y as the marketing coordinator and is responsible for the organization’s quarterly newsletter and other marketing pieces.
“Our community is fortunate to have her as a volunteer and role model,” the news release stated. “She helps make the Albert Lea community a great place to live and raise children.”