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Yee is one of many volunteers at EMS and co-chair of the school’s Parent Partner’s Organization. But this year, she’s sporting a new title, the Academy District 20 Volunteer of the Year.

For 16 years, Yee spent hundreds of hours making an impact on student’s lives. Her two kids once attended EMS, but it’s been years since they walked the halls.

 “My daughter told me she loved seeing me at school so that’s why I started volunteering,” she said.

Jamie Lester, principal of EMS said, “I’ve worked with dozens and dozens of volunteers, but very few like Mrs. Yee.”

In her nomination letter Lester wrote, “Over the past decade, Ms. Yee supported numerous field trips and volunteered to support our orchestra program and our Academic Arts Academy program. During what has been an incredibly difficult year for our entire community, Ms. Yee found creative ways to provide support and encouragement to teachers.”

She created fun surprises for staff, delivering meals and gift bags on several occasions and led the effort to draw chalk art outside the school to encourage employees as they arrived to work.

Though she started helping out because of her kids, volunteering is a family tradition. She remembers her mother volunteering when she was in elementary school. Though decades apart, their contributions – like painting murals, bringing food and gifts, going to PTO meetings, and chaperoning field trips – have remained the same.

“It’s a way to give back to EMS for everything they’ve given to us. I could not have asked for a better place for my kids and me to volunteer.”