Volunteer News

The Case of the Missing September Volunteer Bulletin

Apologies to all our wonderful volunteers for not receiving a September Volunteer Bulletin! Volunteer editors Nathalia Velez and Lis Lord had all their ducks in a row for the September issue but I did not. Because of that, we could not get the issue out on time. Thanks to Lis and Nathalia and all of you for your patience and understanding!

Most Sincerely,
Susan Barber
Special Events & Volunteer Coordinator
Rocky Mountain PBS

Rocky Mountain PBS Volunteer Board President, Betty Flaten, Honored by AAUW

Submitted by Janet Weisheit; Photo courtesy of Colorado AAUW

At the Colorado AAUW Fall Leadership conference Betty Flaten received the 2014 Legacy of Leadership Award. The award is given to someone who has shown leadership in AAUW at the state level and demonstrates a strong commitment to the mission of AAUW.

As a member of Lakewood Chapter, Betty has served as the LAF chair, branch president and chair of the Home Fair for three years. She was state President from 2006-2008. Betty has also served Colorado AAUW as co-chair of the Policy Committee, chair of the Educational Fund and as Co-Vice President of Programs.

Betty retired from teaching in 1993. After 31 years of being in the classroom, she continued to work with students by tutoring in Aurora and Jeffco schools. She has been involved in educational, political and community activities. She has received deserved recognition for her volunteer activities: JCEA Jeffy Award in 1970, Colorado Education Association Association’s (CEA) Distinguished Service Award in 1983, CEA’s PACE Award in 1984, CEA’s Lion Award in 1992, CEA’s Hazel Petrocco Women's Leadership Award in 1993 and was honored to be included in Who's Who in American Politics.

Betty enjoys traveling, and has visited all seven continents. She enjoys reading, hiking and spending time with her cat. She is currently involved with activities at Rocky Mountain PBS. She volunteers with Super School News and Station Archived Memories and is President of the Volunteer Board.

Pictured with Betty is Diane Norten, an active member of Rocky Mountain PBS’s Women and Girls Lead.

SAVE THE DATE – Volunteer Open House on Nov. 12

Come to the station at 1089 Bannock Street and learn about volunteer opportunities and meet the Volunteer Board and other fabulous Rocky Mountain PBS volunteers. All volunteers will receive an invitation shortly with the details. The Open House will happen in the late afternoon/early evening of November 12 so MARK YOUR CALENDAR!

Message from the Executive Committee

Submitted by Betty Flaten, President, Rocky Mountain PBS Volunteer Board
Editors’ Note – Beginning this month the executive committee will share responsibility for a message from the Volunteer board. We are looking forward to differing perspectives and interests reflected in this message.

Thank you to all the volunteers who responded to the Restructure Task Force Volunteer Survey. Twenty percent of our volunteers completed the survey by the August 15 deadline. We are aware some did not receive it in time because of being away from your computers. Results of the survey will be used by the task force as they work on the future direction the Volunteer Board.

I was especially heartened to learn that many of you do actually read the Volunteer Bulletin. We are always wondering if the messages and accolades reach those most important individuals who volunteer to make Rocky Mountain PBS the best public media station.

By the time you receive this message we will have had training for new board members, our August Executive Committee meeting, and will have held our first board meeting of the 2014 – 2015 year. All Board meetings are open to the public (1089 Bannock St., Denver) and if you wish to attend and observe our proceedings please contact Susan Barber at: susanbarber@rmpbs.org. Dates for the upcoming meetings are January 14, 2015, March 11, May 13.

New board members are: Nathalia Velez, Communications Co-/Chair; Janell Hettrick and Ginger Sheehy Tatic, Super School News Co-Chairs; and Members-at-Large, Cathy Glick and Renee Marcellis.

As your executive committee continues to use the team approach, I am happy to announce that we will be changing the President’s Message to the Executive Team Message and you will hear from Vice President, Jeanne Sanchez and Secretary, Sandy Gerulat as they share their thoughts on our volunteer corps and it activities.

I enjoy meeting volunteers at events and talking about why they volunteer and what events they like to do. It was a pleasure to meet Erika Castro and Catherine McCoy who assisted with the Ken Burns event at DU near the end of August.

It promises to be an exciting year ahead as our public media family plans activities and fundraisers with the assistance of our wonderful volunteers. I invite all volunteers to join us in as many events as your calendars and time permit.

2014 Volunteer Survey Results

Submitted by Marissa Johnson, Rocky Mountain PBS Staff and Task Force Member

The Volunteer Board at Rocky Mountain PBS created the Restructure Task Force, consisting of volunteers and staff, to look at improving the volunteer experience at Rocky Mountain PBS and for the Rocky Mountain volunteer leadership to best serve, engage and retain volunteers. In late July 2014, the Task Force created a volunteer satisfaction survey; the survey was sent to 514 volunteers and 150 volunteers responded. That’s a 29% return rate!

Summary of Results:
In general, the survey presents a positive picture of the volunteer experience at Rocky Mountain PBS:
- 72% of respondents stated they were satisfied or very satisfied with their volunteer experience at Rocky Mountain PBS.
- 99% of respondents felt that training at the station adequately prepared them for their volunteer work.

The survey also gives a general sense about who the volunteers of Rocky Mountain PBS are:

  • 62% of our volunteer respondents are between the ages of 18-64. 
  • 85% of respondents volunteer with other organizations. 
  • Almost 16% of respondents volunteer with four or more organizations beside Rocky Mountain PBS! 
  • 83% of respondents volunteer because they support the mission and programming of Rocky Mountain PBS. 
  • Almost 49% of respondents added that they volunteer because they’ve made friends through their volunteer work. 
  • Approximately 64% of our volunteers have volunteered with Rocky Mountain PBS for fewer than five years.

The Task Force would like to thank all of the volunteers who participated in the survey. If you’d like to contribute your comments about your volunteer experience at Rocky Mountain PBS, send an email to Susan Barber at susanbarber@rmpbs.org.

The Volunteer Survey asked 15 questions (answer choices not included):

  1. How do you find out about and sign up for volunteer opportunities? 
  2. How would you prefer to be contacted regarding volunteer opportunities? 
  3. Do you read the monthly Volunteer Newsletter/Volunteer Bulletin that is sent via email? 
  4. Overall, how satisfied are you with the volunteer experience at RMPBS? 
  5. Why do you volunteer? 
  6. What challenges (if any) prevent you from volunteering? 
  7. If you have volunteered, please explain how you were trained for the tasks. 
  8. If trained, did your training prepare you to do the job adequately? 
  9. Are you aware that Rocky Mountain PBS has a Volunteer Board? 
  10. Do you have any suggestions on how volunteering with Rocky Mountain PBS could be improved, i.e., support, training, management, communication, the role of volunteers, etc.? 
  11. What is your Rocky Mountain PBS volunteer experience? 
  12. In what locations have you volunteered? 
  13. In what areas have you volunteered?
  14. How many organizations do you volunteer with, not including Rocky Mountain PBS?
  15. What is your age group?

KIDS Fun Fest Rocks! Grand Junction and Denver

Grand Junction—August 2, 2014
KIDS Fun Fest ,Western Slope style, was a huge success! This was the second year in a new venue in Grand Junction, and we saw increased participation regarding booths and increased engagement with the community and all who participated.

Some quick takeaways:

  • This year we had 35 booths, 10 more than 2013. 
  • Canvassers were at the event signing up new members 
  • Both Cat in the Hat and Daniel Tiger were in attendance and were well received! 
  • By tracking emails collected and the number of goodie bags we gave out, attendance was over 1,000 people.

We were able to expand our activities and outreach this year due to new staff member Heather Portenier planning the event and keeping us on track with our event timeline; our CMU intern Veronica Rodriguez was excellent at getting commitments from local businesses for booths; we had increased participation from new and existing volunteers as well.

Denver–September 6, 2014
Thankfully, skies were clear and bright on the morning of September 6th. Volunteers and staff began arriving at 6:00 am (!) to take on the wide array of tasks necessary to set up the street, parking lot and studios at the station—1089 Bannock Street. By, 10 am, all was ready to go and the first of our 8-10,000 attendees began arriving for all the fun and festivities. Of course the rock stars of the event were Clifford the Big Red Dog, Curious George, Word Girl and Sid the Science Kid! They were surrounded by their young & old enthusiastic fans and everyone joined in as they danced the Hokey Pokey on stage.

The stage was filled by wonderful acts—Land of Smiles presented by Delta Dental, Jump N rope, the Colorado Mestizo Dancers, and the Colorado Conservatory of Ballet. When not enjoying the stage acts, children and families enjoyed a variety of activities including tennis, farm animals provided by Urban Farm, gymnastics, tricycle track, photo booth, storytelling, bounce houses and many more.

This event is only possible because of the support of volunteers! Seventy-five volunteers supplied the leadership for Fun Fest and the “person-power”. Rocky Mountain PBS is so grateful to these volunteers for their donations of time, patience, enthusiasm, sweat and good humor! They created a safe, healthy, fun and loving environment for children and families–a wonderful antidote to a world that can seem awfully scary.

KIDS Fun Fest 2014

Kerrie Dallman, CEA President (center), with Super School News volunteer co-chairs Ginger Tatic and Janell Hetrick.

Super School News off to a Roaring Start!

Under the leadership of volunteer co-chairs, Ginger Sheehy Tatic and Janell Hetrick, and the many Super School News volunteers, Super School News began the 2013-2014 season with the kick-off orientation on September 10th. Teachers, parents and students learned what to expect in preparing for their two-minute newscasts. We are so excited that this season is sponsored by the Colorado Education Association (CEA) and we are so grateful. The following is the press release issued by CEA on the day of orientation:

CEA sponsors ‘Super School News’ to enhance public education for Colorado students Celebrated Rocky Mountain PBS program enters its 35th year educating children in mass communications

DENVER – Colorado educators have engaged the public throughout 2014 on ways they support and inspire students that can’t be measured by a standardized test, first through the Free Our Teachers, Value Our Students movement and more recently with social media messages using #MoreThanAScoreCO. Now the Colorado Education Association will directly invest in a program that’s helped thousands of kids across Colorado attain a more well-rounded education for decades.

CEA will be the exclusive sponsor of the acclaimed Super School News educational outreach program of Rocky Mountain PBS for the 2014-15 school year. The program officially kicked off today with an orientation for participating students and teachers at the Rocky Mountain PBS station in Denver. Participating schools in Colorado Springs and Pueblo also met today at the Pueblo PBS station, with another orientation scheduled next week at the Grand Junction station.

Doug Price, Rocky Mountain PBS CEO, speaks to students and teachers at today’s orientation.

“You are all more than a score,” CEA President Kerrie Dallman told students at the Denver studio. “Testing can be a valuable measure of a child’s academic growth and help a teacher improve professional practice. But in my mind, there’s no doubt that many wonderful things happen in Colorado classrooms everyday that can’t be measured by a standardized test.

“Super School News is one of those amazing education opportunities that might not translate into the statistical model of a quality education. But this program will give you real-world experience in a skill set you’ll use over a lifetime – communications,” Dallman continued. “One day you’ll face a tough interview to get into a great college or land a fantastic job. This experience in Super School News will help you prepare for that moment.”

The award-winning mini television series is written and illustrated by fifth and sixth grade students, who record their news segments at Rocky Mountain PBS stations. “Super School News” is designed to teach students about journalism and broadcasting, and hone other important skills such as compelling storytelling, creative writing and public speaking. Students also learn lessons in collaboration and teamwork, handling stress, and gaining self-confidence. Each school's two-minute product runs three or four times on PBS and is given to the school to show in classrooms. About 70 schools are scheduled to participate this school year.

“One of the most gratifying parts of my job every year is launching a new season of Super School News,” said Doug Price, CEO of Rocky Mountain PBS, at the orientation. “We are particularly pleased to have as our sponsor the Colorado Education Association. Clearly, this is a great fit for both our organizations as we are both dedicated to the well-being and education of Colorado kids.”

Many CEA members have participated in Super School News over the years as faculty advisors, and for some, their enthusiasm for the program carried over into retirement. Several members of Jefferson Country Education Association-Retired helped out at today’s event.

“The public speaking experience, and the presence these kids will develop is immeasurable,” said Mike Cawthra, a retired JeffCo teacher who gave students tips today in annunciation and script delivery. “I firmly believe Rocky Mountain PBS is one of the great gems of Colorado media in supporting the schools, with Super School News and all of the children’s programming.”

Janet Weisheit answers “Super School News” questions for teachers, while Mike Cawthra instructs students, at today’s orientation at Rocky Mountain PBS. Both are retired teachers and members of Jefferson County Education Association-Retired.
Volunteer Appreciation - Thank You for Your Support!

Film Footage Documented

Rocky Mountain PBS producer, Mariel Rodriguez-McGill sends special thanks to Thomas Muja, a volunteer with the Station’s Archived Memories, for all of his help determining what lies on a few mysterious 16mm film reels. Thanks so much, Thomas!

KIDS Fun Fest Volunteers Are Special People

Kids Fest West was a wonderful Grand Junction event in August. (Read about the event above.) Heather Portenier wants to thank the tireless volunteers who made the event a special day for families. Shout outs go to the fine volunteers including Charlotte Meiners, Courtny Amico, Seth Lewis, Patricia Amadeo, Travis Portenier, Kamron Portenier, Bob Rodriguez, Kathi Roy, Marilyn Montoya, Charlie Markley, Eva Cruz, Nathan Watchman, Laila Watchman, Dan Flenniken, Nancy Jewell and Renee Vahle.

In Denver, the heavy lifting for this huge event was done by volunteers. Kudos and thanks go first to the volunteer co-chairs for the event, Heidi Danzig Miller and Nathalia Velez! They donated hundreds of hours and managed volunteer recruitment and volunteers, stage performances, booth/vendor recruitment and organization, character coordination and briefing and everything else in between! These talented and efficient ladies managed all this work with grace, efficiency and good humor. Rocky Mountain PBS honors these two extraordinary women as well as these fabulous volunteers who made this event possible: Luis Antunez, Jenny Bellew, Tyler Barber, Lincoln Barber, Irina Barnett, Katie Besha Lester, Wendy Booth, Kira Broer, Lynn Bronikowski, Darryl Brown, Shawn Bryant, Jean Chrest, Lorraine Conway, Bayleigh Delarm, Doña Dodson, Sandra Dow, Robert Dudley, Victor Escarcega, Darren Etengoff, Meghan Forlano, Renee Franks, Dana Gaffin, Monica Garcia, Julia Rieth, Laura Harvey, Karen Hays, Pat Hoeft, Regina Huerter, Rose Jackson, Erica Juarez, Adam Kibble, Janet Kilbride, Mary King, Stephanie Koch, Alex Koch, Jen Krohn, Judy Lester Smith, Jessica Lightman, Lata Mahapatro, Jill Maxwell, Catherine McCoy, Andrea Meier, Carol Mielke, Marrielle Monte Canales, Julie Muhovich, Carly Ann Moore, Cheryl Nelson, Kayla Okafor, Shirley Otto, Chaunee Padmore-Green, Alec Peckham, Adrienne Pederson, Kendall Rames, Amber Roseborough, Stella Sewald, Audrey Sherrod, Dawn Smith, Louise Stephens, Lindsay Unks, Diana Vaswig, Alexander Vega, Angel Vigil, Teddi Wiest Kent and the volunteers from Kohl’s (apologies for no last names) Ashely, Joe, Lucy and Twila.

Thank You To Volunteers For the Ken Burns Event

Submitted by Patricia Laverty

Our “Evening with Ken Burns” on August 21 was the classic example of watching a swan gliding quickly and effortlessly across a lake – no one could see all the wild paddling under the surface that was making it a such a success! And a grand success it was: sold out and a terrific program, from the clips of the upcoming series to the Q&A after the preview.

Our pre-event team of Betty Flaten, Judi Martine and Marge Romberger helped get it all going, and they were still there the night of the event: Judi and Marge took charge of our two speakers, Ken Burns and Dr. Bill Convery, Colorado State Historian, who moderated the event. From greeting them outside the University of Denver’s Sturm Hall to making sure they got to and from the VIP reception, Judi and Marge showed their mettle! Betty was literally everywhere, filling in the holes in the dike, from check-in to guiding guests who couldn’t quite find their way!

Iris Fontera, Cathy Glick and Renee Marcellis, along with staffer Dan Stencel, guided guests from the parking building to the event venue, no easy task on the DU campus.

Lis Lord managed the flow of guests at the check-in, guiding them to Erika Castro, Marti Van Wagenen (who had already whipped up beautiful floral arrangements for the VIP reception), Laura Van Wagenen-Birdsill and Janet Weisheit (who later so ably assisted with the Q&A). These ladies got everyone through the check-in with no delay and lots of smiles.

Teddi Wiest-Kent and Catherine McCoy did double-duty, first checking in VIP reception guests, then joining Suzanne Leahy and staffer Jessica Snider to usher guests into Davis Auditorium.

As always, I’m full of gratitude to our volunteers for their can-do attitude, their flexibility, and their fabulousness (probably not a word, but you know what I’m trying to say). Thank you all so much!

Super Schools News Wraps Up 2013-2014 Season

From a report submitted by Janet Weisheit and Leslie Smith

The Super School News crew wrapped up another successful season in May! The Denver studio videotaped enthusiastic news anchors and newscasters from 56 schools on the Front Range. Pueblo and Grand Junction did likewise for their areas of the state. Nearly 100 schools participate each year. Super School News was ably chaired by Leslie Smith and Janet Weisheit.

Thanks to wonderful volunteers: Patty Boyd, Lorraine Brown, Joanie Butts, Adrianne Cooper, Kathy Crisler, Dona Dodson, Betty Flaten, Janelle Hetrick, Laura Hoganson, Joan Johnson, Jan Lytton, Heather MacKinnon, Sharon and Bob Patrick, Jackie Perleberg, Cathy Tomlinson, Alice Dick and Ginger Sheehy-Tatic. Their hard work and enthusiasm enabled us to provide support to each school through orientation, on-site rehearsals and taping days at the station. Thanks also to our excellent staff support and crew. The year culminated with a wonderful banquet provided by Boondocks. Students received certificates and gift cards from Boondocks—a great time was had by all! If this sounds like fun to you, we could always use a few more volunteers. Contact SSN at the station at 303-620-5736 and join the fun!

Events / Programming

Programming: To check out programming features and changes, go to the Rocky Mountain PBS website (www.rmpbs.org). On the website, you will be able to request our automatic weekly newsletter (e-news) and monthly TV schedule (e-promo).




Volunteer Vision was our quarterly newsletter mailed to Rocky Mountain PBS volunteers. It featured articles on the latest news and events for our volunteer corps. Click below to read archived issues of Volunteer Vision in PDF format.

(You will need Adobe Acrobat to view these files. If you don't have it, you can download it for free here.)

Suggestions for articles, news updates or questions for Volunteer Vision can be e-mailed to the editor.


To enrich the lives of Coloradans through engaging and essential programs, services and community partnerships that inform, enlighten and entertain.


Rocky Mountain PBS will be the premier public media resource for all Coloradans. On-air, online and in person, we will serve our diverse communities as a convener of people, ideas and perspectives.

Why PBS?

Supporters share why PBS is important in their lives.

Own Your Favorite Shows

PBS Shop

Own Your Favorite Shows

Members receive a 15% discount. Contact Viewer Services for more information (800-274-6666).

TV Schedule »

Rocky Mountain PBS-HD, Create and V-me.