Lt. Gov. honors Marshall woman with Senior Service Award

Wednesday, May 17, 2006
From left are state Rep. Joe Aull (D-Marshall), Mel and Katie Sharon, Lt. Governor Peter Kinder and Stacie Arends.

Working as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer, helping with child care during church-sponsored English as a Second Language classes, serving on the Saline County Mental Health Board and a church international student concerns committee is a full plate for anybody.

But Kathleen "Katie" Sharon of Marshall was honored last month by Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder as the recipient of the quarterly Lieutenant Governor's Senior Service Award for all those civic-minded activities, all of which she keeps up with following a 42-year teaching career.

A press release from Kinder's office states that "as the official senior citizen advocate for the state of Missouri, Lt. Gov. Kinder created the award to promote and highlight the positive accomplishments that Missouri's senior citizens continually provide their local communities."

Sharon was nominated for the award by Stacie Arends, executive director of the CASA program in the 15th Judicial Circuit which includes Saline and Lafayette counties.

Arends said Sharon has served as a CASA volunteer for over a year now, explaining, "A CASA volunteer is a trained citizen who is appointed by a judge to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in court. CASA volunteers make sure children do not get lost in an overwhelmed legal and child welfare system."

Sworn in as a CASA volunteer March 1, 2005, after completing 32 hours of accredited training, Sharon has worked with five children in two sibling groups. Arends praised Sharon as a volunteer who "always goes the 'extra mile' and has a talent for connecting families to resources. In addition to thorough investigations, follow-up to make sure court orders are completed as written, Katie adds her personal touch to each home visit with the children, personalizing each visit to meet that specific child's interests and developmental needs."

While serving on the county's mental health board, Sharon was "instrumental in the formation of The Lighthouse Shelter (a shelter for domestic violence victims)," Arends' letter also stated.

Sharon's teaching career included teaching preschool, elementary, middle school and college courses. She was a remedial reading/learning disabilities instructor much of her education career.

There are currently 18 trained CASA volunteers working with 42 children in the 15th Judicial Circuit.

For more information, contact Arends or Becky Hill, administrative assistant, at (660) 886-5779.

Contact Mark Lile at

marshallbusiness@socket.net

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