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Johnalee McDonald

Schools depend on parent volunteers to accomplish everything from tutoring to helping with physical fitness. At Ucon elementary there’s one parent in particular who’s been making a difference for nine years straight.

Week after week, year after year, Johnalee McDonald has been helping students at Ucon Elementary get their presidential fitness award.

“Once a week I take kids out of class and they run or do sit-ups or push-ups or do the shuttle run,” Johnalee says.

It’s quite an achievement for the students to get the award – they have to meet tough requirements in running, sit ups, push ups and flexibility.

“The kids want to do, they just want to please somebody and if that can be me that’s great, and I love to have them love it,” Johnalee says.

Thanks to volunteers like Johnalee, year after year Ucon takes first place in the state in fitness and the students appreciate her help.

“She’s awesome, she’s really nice, and I think it’s great they come and take their time for us,” students said.

With budget cutbacks students might not get music and physical fitness if it weren’t for volunteers. Principal Brady Johnson says they are extremely valuable assets.

“Much of what we do here would be impossible if not for the generous time the volunteers put in,” Johnson says.

And while Johnalee may not get paid for what she does, the rewards are still there.

“I just like doing it – I guess it’s a high I get from serving people,” Johnalee says.

We salute Johnalee McDonald and all the other wonderful parent volunteers in our schools as great neighbors. If you know of a great neighbor for us to feature please email me at

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