Volunteer of the Month



Every month we choose a Volunteer of the Month based on volunteer hours logged (either at school, on field trips or at home), as well as willingness to help and dedication to the school! Although the Volunteer of the Month is recognized in both PTA and school newsletters, the best part is the awesome Parking Spot at the front of the school that can be yours for one month!



Julie Chavanu moved to the area right before her youngest, Erin, now in 4th Grade, started Kindergarten. Her oldest daughter, Natalie, is now at Farnell. This is the third year she has worked with Spirit Nights and she says she likes helping with the classroom Fall Festival booth every year. Julie has been in schools where parent participation and volunteering is not as encouraged, so she knows first-hand how big a difference volunteering makes in everything at school!  


Corinne Adams has two children at Bryant.  Hailey is 9 and in fourth grade, and Parker is 7 and in first grade.  Corinne and her husband, Jordan, have been in Tampa since 2006 and work together in their sports television distribution business, as well as consult with companies on new product development.

They have been at Mary Bryant ever since Hailey started Kindergarten.  Corinne has been a homeroom mom or co-homeroom mom for both children during their time at Mary Bryant.  She has also enjoyed doing Ready Reader for the kids’ classes, participating in Fall Festival, being a classroom helper and most recently, co-volunteer for Spirit Night!  Jordan is the new emcee for the Galloping to Greatness fundraiser and always enjoys participating in the Great American Teach-In.  They love to be involved in their children’s lives and to help support the school and their children’s educational and extracurricular endeavors.

In their free time, their family loves to go on adventures and experience new activities, locally as well as travelling to visit friends and family.  The kids like to keep a log of out of state license plates that they have seen – they are still looking for Hawaii and Alaska!



Julie Overing is a retired Marine Biologist who enjoys organizing events, especially sailing regattas and now golf tournaments! Her family has been a part of Bryant Elementary since her daughter started Kindergarten in 2002.  Julie confesses her kids have grown up fast…Mackenzie is finishing her Freshman year at Florida Gulf Coast University, and her son Maxwell is finishing his Freshman year at Sickles High School.  Both of her children have excelled throughout school thanks in large part to the foundations they were taught at Bryant Elementary. As a result she has enjoyed giving back to the school and our community by volunteering for the last 15 years in the classrooms, Media Center, PTA and now the Golf Tournament.

Thank you, Julie, for your dedication to Mary Bryant Elementary!!


Michelle Chase and her husband Brian have three children, Kendall (age 8), Nathaniel (age 6), and Logan (age 3). Kendall is in Mrs. Brown’s third grade class, Nathaniel is in Mrs. Kane’s kindergarten class, and Logan attends Keystone Christian Preschool.

Michelle has lived in Tampa since 1994. She graduated from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Secondary English education and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership. She taught English at the secondary level for the Hillsborough County Public School system from 1998 through 2014. She also coached junior varsity and varsity volleyball for Sickles High School and Alonso High School during many of those years.

This year, Michelle was the chairperson for the Great American Teach-In and is also the co-chair business partner liaison for the Mary Bryant Business Partnership program. Michelle has also volunteered at the Fall Festival, Grandparent Read-to-Me Day, Book Fair, Running Club, field trip chaperone, and as homeroom parent. Volunteering has allowed Michelle to stay active within the school system, while spending quality time with her children.

In her free time, Michelle enjoys training mom friends at the gym for fun and meeting new people. She can often be found at the school helping with various tasks or shuttling her three children to soccer, gymnastics, Girl Scouts, Jui Jitsu, or swimming. She is extremely grateful for the teachers, staff, and administration at MBE and all they do for the students! Michelle looks forward to many more years of being involved at Mary Bryant Elementary!  Thank you, Michelle, for all of your volunteer work!!


A year and a half ago, Samantha VanSteenburg moved to Tampa from Seattle for her husband’s work. She is presently in school finishing her degree in interior design and working at Studio M, a design firm in Tampa. Samantha says she was thrilled to have the opportunity to redecorate the teacher’s lounge when asked. First, because the teachers work so hard and need a peaceful space to relax. And, second, this gave her the opportunity to volunteer since her busy schedule rarely affords her the opportunity to help out during the day! She is grateful to be able to give back to the teachers and the staff!

Thank you, Samantha, for giving back to the school!  We know the teachers and staff appreciate it!


Kimberly LaMura and her husband, Mike, have 2 daughters who attend Mary Bryant Elementary.  Victoria (8) is in Mrs. Bukovan’s Second Grade class and Fiona (5) is in Mrs. Kloehn’s Kindergarten Class.  Kimberly graduated at Ohio State and worked as a geneticist before she met her husband, Mike.

This year Kim was the chair for our Grandparent Read-To-Me Day.  She says she has enjoyed helping our teachers in any way possible with being a homeroom mom, copying, or helping in the mailroom.  She has participated in the Building Better Readers program, Junior Achievement, Fall Festival, and the Great American Teach-In and loves helping with the Book Fair, Holiday Shop, and The Mary Bryant Golf Tournament.

In her spare time, Kim co-leads her daughter’s Girl Scout Troop, loves watching her Ohio State Buckeyes, being a mom at home and cheering on her daughters’ in their activities!  She has really enjoyed getting to meet all of the teachers and staff at Bryant, as well as other parents and volunteers, and feels so lucky to have both of her children at such an amazing school!

Thanks, Kim, for all the ways you help make Mary Bryant an excellent school!


October 2017 VOM – Amanda Vanscoten

Amanda Vanscoten has three kids at Mary Bryant…. Bella, who is in iPeeps; William, a 1st grader, and Reygan, a 3rd grader.  She has been volunteering at Mary Bryant for about three years now. Amanda says her kids love to see her and she has met some other amazing parents just by volunteering! She has volunteered for Lunch on the Lawn, Friendship Grams, Awards, Book Fair, Picture Day, and one of the kids’ favorites, the Holiday Gift Shop. When she’s not volunteering at the school, she is running the kids to Gracie Palm Harbor where they do Jiu Jitsu and MMA. Amanda is an avid reader and actually proofread for an author! She is very proud to be a part of the Mary Bryant Family and looks forward to many more years of volunteering!

We are proud to have you Amanda!  Thanks for all you do!


September 2017 VOM – Kristi Ward

Kristi Ward and her husband, Michael, have two daughters – Grace, who is in the 7th grade at Farnell and Mya, who is in the 4th grade at Mary Bryant. They have lived in Tampa for almost nine years.

Kristi began volunteering at Mary Bryant eight years ago when her oldest daughter started Kindergarten. That year she was the homeroom parent and the class Fall Festival coordinator. Since then, she has volunteered in many ways including homeroom parent; fall festival class booths; class parties; copy parent; Holiday gift shop; Building Better Readers program; 5th grade Double B Jamboree; field trip chaperone; field day; and this year she helped Nicole Woodroof with The Gallop to Greatness Walk.

Kristi says she really enjoys volunteering at Mary Bryant and has met so many wonderful people. The staff, families and children at Mary Bryant are the best.  She has felt very lucky to have the opportunity to help out around the school and in the
classroom and, by doing so, she gets to spend a little extra time with her children!

In her free time, Kristi enjoys CrossFit, running, traveling with her family, and cheering on her daughters at their swim meets and soccer games.

Thanks Kristi, for all the years of dedication to Mary Bryant!

August 2017 VOM – Nicole Woodruff


Nicole Woodroof and her husband, Trent, have one son, Tristan, who is in Mr. Cazzola’s fourth grade class this year!  Tristan started at Bryant in Kindergarten and Nicole has been volunteering ever since.  She feels very fortunate that he attends such an amazing elementary school. 

This year, Nicole is taking on the Gallop to Greatness Walk to replace Boosterthon and says she is so excited to be supporting the staff in this endeavor.  In the near future, she hopes to be a part of the volunteer efforts to install a running track for the students, if enough funds are raised from the walk! Nicole enjoys volunteering with such great families and supporting our teachers in any way possible. 

Nicole is an avid Gator Fan and for fun she loves to travel with her husband and son, take day trips to the beach and do anything near or on the water, run, and just spend time with her family and friends.

Nicole is an amazing asset to our school, and we are lucky to have her!  

March VOM – Julie Overing

Julie Overing is a retired Marine Biologist who enjoys organizing events, especially sailing regattas and now golf tournaments! Her family has been a part of Bryant Elementary since her daughter started Kindergarten in 2002.  Julie confesses her kids have grown up fast…Mackenzie is a High School Senior heading off to college, and her son Maxwell will be a Freshman at Sickles in the fall.  Both of her children have excelled throughout school thanks in large part to the foundations they were taught at Bryant Elementary. As a result she has enjoyed giving back to the school and our community by volunteering for the last 14 years in the classrooms, Media Center, PTA and now the Golf Tournament.

Thank you Julie, for all you do for Mary Bryant Elementary!

February VOM – Amanda Vanscoten

Amanda Vanscoten and her husband, Mark, have three children: Reygan (9) in second grade, William (7) in first grade, and Arabella (4) in Mrs. Shell’s iPeeps class. She is a stay at home mom and has volunteered for a little over two years. Some of the things she has volunteered for include the Scholastic book fair, field trip chaperone, Holiday gift shop, Friendship grams, spring pictures, Jump Rope for Heart, classroom pictures, and running club. She hopes to have many more years volunteering, and knows there are many more things she will volunteer for in the future!
When she’s not busy volunteering, Amanda is usually at the baseball field or is beta reading for her author friends. She loves snapping pictures of her kids whenever she can, but realizes that she is always the one behind the camera!

January VOM – Sylwia Panko

Sylwia Panko has two children, Leo, a 5th grader, and Gabi, a 3rd grader. She has volunteered at Mary Bryant since 2011, helping out with various activities, such as homeroom parent, Junior achievement volunteer, field trip chaperone, book fair, ready reader, PTA, yearbook committee, shoe drive chair, helping with holiday gift shop and friendship grams, Odyssey of the Mind coach and more.
Sylwia feels blessed to be a part of the Mary Bryant family and she enjoys lending a helping hand when needed.
Thank you, Sylwia, for all you have done and continue to do for Mary Bryant Elementary! We are thankful to have you as one of our volunteers!

December VOM – Linda Crivello


Linda and Steve Crivello have 4 children. Kaitlin is in 8th grade and Ryan is in 7th; they are both at Farnell. Lauren is in 4th grade and Megan is in 2nd.  Linda’s oldest started at Mary Bryant in 2008 and that is when she began volunteering as Homeroom mom. From that time on, she has helped out with Fall Festival, the fun run, field trips, making copies, and in the past few years, she has coordinated the Holiday Gift shop, which is a lot of work but she says it is very rewarding!  She has really enjoyed getting to meet all of the teachers and staff at Bryant, as well as the many other parents and volunteers, and feels very lucky to have had all of her children at such a wonderful school!  Thank you Linda for all you do for Mary Bryant Elementary!!

November VOM – Lisa Randall

Lisa Randall’s son, Foster, is in the 5th grade.  They moved to Florida from Wisconsin last year and love Mary Bryant.  Foster is part of the running club and the recycling club. He is also a Peeps helper.   Lisa is room mom and also volunteers with running club.  She was also in charge of this year’s Veteran’s Day Celebration!  The Randall’s LOVE to travel.  Foster has been to about 12 different countries.  Since moving to Florida, they have become HUGE Disney fans.  When they are not playing baseball, they will most likely be found at Disney!  Thank you, Lisa, for all your hard work and helping to make Mary Bryant such a great school!

October VOM – Nicole Woodroof

Nicole’s son, Tristan Woodroof (age 8) is currently in Ms. Brown and Ms. Rossi’s third grade class. The Woodroof’s have been at Mary Bryant since his Kindergarten year, when they moved into this district because they specifically wanted him to attend Mary Bryant Elementary. They love this school and feel very blessed to be a part of it and the community that surrounds it!

Nicole has been involved in PTA events such as Building Better Readers Training, Bedtime Stories, the Book Fair, Fall Festival, Gingerbread Gift Shop and the Holiday Breakfast for Teachers. In addition to working with the PTA, she has a passion for supporting our hard-working teachers that do so much to make our school successful! She greatly enjoys spending time in the classrooms when she can read with a child or assist with their daily tasks in any way possible.


September VOM – Cynthia Kienman


Cynthia Kienman has been in the Bryant Family for almost six years. Her daughter, Sara is now in the fifth grade with Mrs. Zacek and Mrs. Graves. Cynthia has been volunteering for all different types of activities: Ready Reader for 3 years, Homeroom Mom and Copy Mom for 2 years. She has also been active in the Boosterthon Fun Run, Fall Festival booths, classroom parties, school pictures, field trips, field day, election voting, Friendship Grams, providing help to the office staff, giving out stickers and awards for volunteers. She has also helped with our Veteran’s Day event, Golf Tournament, 5th Grade Jamboree, Father Daughter Dance, and Teacher staff appreciation week and lastly being The Elf for the Gingerbread Gift Shop throughout her time at Bryant!

She loves to volunteer at Bryant because it’s a rewarding experience, and she likes being an involved parent. Other than being at stay at home mother, in her spare time, she loves to Jazzercise, and spend time with her family and watch sports.Thank you Cynthia for all that you do for our school and PTA! We hope you enjoy your convenient parking spot!

August VOM – Mary Bakanec

Mary Bakanec
Mary Bakanec has been a part of the Bryant Family since her older daughter, Kayla, started Kindergarten in 2007. At that time, she was pregnant with Sarah, who is now a 3rd grader at Bryant. Mary has volunteered over the last 9 years with Fall Festival, classroom field trips, ready reader, classroom parties, Boosterthon Fun Run, classroom helper, Santa’s Shop, Discount Cards, First Day of School helper, Junior Achievement volunteer, and part of the fifth grade banquet committee. She looks forward to continuing to volunteer at Bryant over the next 3 years as Sarah finishes out her Elementary education, because she feels it is such a great way to be involved at the school!
Mary also works part-time at McKitrick Elementary as an ELP teacher. In her spare time, she is busy running her daughters to various after-school activities and play dates. She enjoys reading, movies, and visiting with girlfriends and family.
The PTA is so thankful to have dedicated volunteers like Mary.Thank you for all you do to make Mary Bryant the wonderful school that it is!