In Howard County schools, there are good apples, and then there are golden apples.
A local mother and volunteer Thursday, March 21 received one of the first-ever Golden Apple Awards from State Comptroller Peter Franchot for her longtime volunteer work in the community and at Fulton Elementary School.
Lisa Schlossnagle, 34, of Fulton, is a mother of three at the school, and has been volunteering for three years at Fulton, in addition to serving on the PTA and tutoring students.
"The state wants to recognize and appreciate people who have given all sorts of time to teachers and students," Franchot said.
Schlossnagle, or "Miss Lisa" as students call her, started volunteering because she said her passion is working with kids and supporting public education. She volunteers in the gifted-and-talented classes two or three times a week, she said, and twice a month gives computer science lessons to young girls in her neighborhood.
Schlossnagle also served on the redistricting committee for the Howard County Public School System last year, and blogs about issues, including education.
"This is humbling," Schlossnagle said. "I don't feel that execptional — we have so many volunteers, and I'm just a part of what people do here, and across the state, to support schools."
Tom Coale, another local blogger and Dorsey's Search representative on the Board of Directors for the Columbia Association, nominated Schlossnagle for the award.
"Lisa not only volunteers in the school, and not only advocates for students and mentors students, she holds herself out there to the community and says, 'this is something that's important to me, this is what's going on in our school, and this is what's going on in the education system as a whole,' " Coale said.
Fulton Principal Karen Moore-Robey said Fulton has about 150 parent volunteers, who provide "all kinds of extra help with all the little things we do."
The students voiced their appreciation for Schlossnagle's efforts, too. At the end of the assembly, led by Moore-Robey, they chanted that Schlossnagle was "awesome, awesome, awesome."