An almost-20 year veteran of local school boards has been nominated for a legacy award that honours integrity, compasion, mentoring and leadership over the course of a career in public education.
Shirley Caputo has served more than 19 years on the Grande Yellowhead Public School Division (GYPSD), and her nomination for the Dick Baker Legacy Award outlines the positive characteristics she’s brought to that position and to her many volunteer roles over the past 30 years living in Hinton.
“She values strong relationships in her advocacy of public education. She intentionally develops positive relationships with students, staff, board colleagues and community members. She is very reliable and a very dependable individual,” reads the nomination.
Caputo is touted as investing significant time in her schools as a volunteer and as an attendee and participant in school events. She always seeks the best in students — she has conversations with them and encourages them — “try hard and be the best you can be”.
As part of her volunteering, she responds to teacher and school requests. For example, during the cold weather when recess was moved indoors she provided games for the students to play in the classrooms. She also works with staff to identify students who need resources.
The nomination outlines Caputo’s role as a volunteer at the Hinton Food Bank and The Share Shop, and helping low-income families complete their income tax. She also supports high school students getting their income tax completed so that they can get their refunds.
As a volunteer at Hinton’s Rotary Club, Trustee Caputo supports The Dolly Parton Foundation where the funds raised cover the costs of postage. These books are mailed monthly to children from the ages of 0 – 5 years old — encouraging early literacy.
Caputo involves herself with the local Friendship Centre, where she is learning culture of the Indigenous people, was previously the survivor coordinator for the Relay for Life fundraiser for cancer research, and is currently the chair of the Hinton Adult Learning Society where classes for parents cover topics on positive parenting, single father parenting, and other courses to address the learning needs of Hinton’s parents.
As a Trustee, she has served as vice-chair, and has sat on numerous committees including: CUPE negotiations, board policy, ATA appeals, and bus driver negotiations.
Caputo received a ‘Volunteer of the Year’ 2019 award from the Rotary Club of Hinton.
Dick Baker was a dedicated advocate for public education in Alberta, with an unwavering commitment to placing children first and modelling respect for the stewardship of public trust.