Fouse Elementary School teacher Maria Petrozzi (fourth from right) is surrounded by friends, colleagues, administrators and Rotarians as she is named November’s Service to Youth recipient.
Maria Petrozzi, an All-Day Kindergarten teacher at Fouse Elementary School, was surprised on November 22 when a group of Sunrise Rotarians showed up to present her with the Diane J. Conley Rotary Club of Westerville Sunrise Service to Youth award. She received a plaque from the club, along with a cake and a gift card donated by the Walmart Supercenter on Schrock Road. In addition, an American flag will be flown in her honor during Westerville’s Field of Heroes display. Petrozzi and other Service to Youth award winners will be recognized at a breakfast next May.
Petrozzi was nominated for many reasons, including her year-round service to the community as she collects food, games, and art items for distribution to needy families through the Westerville Area Resource Ministry. She also assists non-English-speaking families with kindergarten registration; serves the K-5 student population with food items and “school dollars”; and solicits donations of coats, gloves, hats, books and weekend food bags through her Facebook community. In addition, Petrozzi provides a variety of services for Fouse’s considerable Latino population.
Rotary Sunrise instituted Service to Youth awards six years ago to recognize exceptional school employees who have made a special contribution to youth; have served as a positive role model for young people; and have demonstrated service above and beyond the call of duty in performing their job responsibilities. The award is named in honor of Sunrise Rotarian Diane Conley, retired Chief of Academic Affairs for Westerville City Schools.