In an effort to recognize the accomplishments and efforts of a community contributor who goes “above and beyond,” the Mason Schools Foundation established the Campbell Family Founder’s Award in 2009 in honor of Ken and Joan Campbell and their family. The Campbell and Leffler families’ initial generosity, innovation and vision led to the creation of the Mason Schools Foundation.
Each year, community members are invited to nominate individuals who go above and beyond their job descriptions, whether volunteers or paid employment to support Mason City Schools. An annual recipient is selected by the Mason School Foundation Board and awarded at the gala in September.
2017 Award Recipient Wayne Wheeler – MMS Boys Cross Country Coach
Coach Wheeler doesn’t simply coach boys cross country at Mason Middle School; he is boys cross country. At the age of 78, Coach Wheeler is out every single day of the week with his team with pep in his step and a smile on his face. He is not just coaching them in running but inspires them to be their absolute best – not simply the fastest. He knows every runner by name (which is typically near 100 boys), their times, and most of their families as well. He stays connected with these boys after they leave his team not only by continuing to encourage them in their running, but in their life goals as well.
His excitement for the sport is exceptional (as shown by his over 700 races run) and he passes this excitement and joy on to his runners. It doesn’t matter if they are the fastest or the slowest, he sees every individual on his team as a winner and teaches the others on the team to see not only themselves that way but every one of their teammates as well. He teaches them to respect each other, to stand up for each other and to encourage each other. He shows them how to be a positive community.
Past Founder’s Award Recipients
2017 Recipient: Coach Wheeler, Mason Middle School Boys Cross Country Coach
2016 Recipient: Laurie Mitroff, Mason Make a Difference Day Leader
2015 Recipient: Greg Scheid, King Island Vice President
2014 Recipient: Dale Moberly, Mason Intermediate School 5th grade teacher
2012 Recipient: John Odell (posthumous) Mason School Board member, and Tracey & David Beckman, Mason City Schools Whiz Kids volunteers
2011 Recipient: Michelle Krugh, Mason Intermediate School Guidance Counselor
2010 Recipient: Cynthia Handy, Mason Intermediate School 5th grade teacher
2009 Recipient: Rosemary Wells, Mason City Schools parent volunteer, Backpack Program Founder
2008 Recipient: Joan and Ken Campbell, Mason City Schools grandparents