On Tuesday December 9th, the Town of Sandwich and the Sandwich Public Schools came together to honor their employees for their years of service and to honor the Sandwich Public Schools Volunteer of the Year. Dr Richard Canfield, Superintendent of Schools, shared these remarks about Mrs. Milburn.
To try to calculate how Becky Milburn accomplishes all that she does within the span of twenty-four hours is to unravel a mathematical mystery. Becky’s countless volunteer activities take her in multiple directions, daily. There is a central theme to Becky’s tireless efforts, and that is to promote a spirit of gratitude, respect, and inclusiveness in all of the phases of her world.
For Becky, the spirit of volunteerism begins with family. The Milburns have instilled a sense of commitment in their children, Evelyn, Raphael, and Peter, for caring for our world, and improving its conditions. Driven by her devotion to her children, Becky’s volunteer efforts expand to their schools: the Oak Ridge School, and now the STEM Academy.
Becky has been a central figure in the Oak Ridge P.T.A., serving as past vice-president, and being involved in planning and organizing its numerous initiatives. Two Scholastic Book Fairs are held during the school year, requiring extensive set up, retail sales and the breaking down and repacking of materials. Becky actively participates in each phase of the program, ensuring its consistent success. Not only is Becky active in the preparation and presentation of Teacher Appreciation Breakfasts, sponsored by the P.T.A., Becky makes each of her children’s teachers feel supported and appreciated throughout the school year.
One of Becky’s most impactful initiatives is the establishment of the Respect for Human Differences Committee. Under her leadership, the committee has developed and expanded an inspiring and powerful program to promote a spirit of inclusion, respect, empathy and gratitude throughout the grade levels. There is a monthly focus on specific components of the program, resulting in classroom participation in related activities, and building up to a tangible representation of each concept. Becky meets with members of the committee regularly, prepares and distributes necessary materials, and presents and displays projects. Cause-related activities are a significant part of each project.
During the complex task of designing and implementing the new STEM Academy, Becky invested countless hours in helping to launch an exemplary program. She is the founder and chair of the STEM Parents Task Force; and the organizer of several Meet and Greet Nights, recognizing the value of parent input and involvement. Becky helped to develop an extensive communications network, which includes a Facebook page, Newton’s News, and crucial print material.
To prepare students for transition to STEM, Becky worked with administration to arrange meetings with students at all of the schools with the Director, where they were encouraged to ask questions and offer suggestions. Students were further included in the development of their new school through STEMabrations, and a contest to design and select a Mascot. Becky held important roles in organizing and implementing these events. In addition, Becky participated in Science and Arts and Humanities Advisory Board meetings, and organized breakfasts to welcome programs for STEM Academy teachers. Becky’s insight and enthusiasm were significant factors in this cohesive and thoughtful transition.
Those who know Becky realize that her dedication and efforts are never motivated by a need for recognition. Though she is reluctant to receive acknowledgement for her diligent efforts, we express our gratitude for her dedication and commitment to our schools.