- By Kristina Webb Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Even after being named Adult Volunteer of the Year by the Palm Beach County School District and recognized for her work raising tens of thousands of dollars for local schools, Wellington resident Terri Priore is humble.
The longtime volunteer was honored by Wellington’s village council Tuesday night for her recent award from the district, and took her time speaking to thank the parents, teachers and other volunteers she has worked with over the years.
“I know there’s hundreds out there that deserve it just as much as I do, because I see them and I work with them everyday in the schools,” she said.
Priore started her volunteer career as a room mom at Binks Forest Elementary School in 2000. She has served on several committees at five schools: Binks, Bak Middle School of the Arts, Wellington Landings Middle School, Emerald Cove Middle School and Palm Beach Central High School.
She also worked for the village for 11 years as a laboratory manager, and sat on the visioning committee that helped form Wellington.
Priore now is under consideration for top adult volunteer in the state.
Mayor Anne Gerwig recalled her time volunteering at Binks and working with Priore. “My first assignment volunteering at Binks Forest Elementary was under your supervision,” Gerwig said.
Vice Mayor John McGovern pointed to the legacy of public service in Priore’s family: Her father-in-law is Dr. Carmine Priore, a longtime Wellington village council member who served as mayor from 1998 to 2000.
“This award for you is something that is just ... very much in keeping with who you are and who your family is,” McGovern said.
Councilman Michael Napoleone echoed McGovern’s comments: “You clearly have service in your blood,” he said.
“You have carved your niche in this community in the education field,” Councilman Michael Drahos said. Drahos served under Priore when she was chair of the village’s Education Committee. It was Drahos’ first experience on a committee, and he said he decided early on to follow Priore’s lead.
“You were my early influence on how to represent myself in the community,” he said.
Councilwoman Tanya Siskind volunteered in Wellington schools and served on the Education Committee before making her way to the council. She said she “definitely learned a lot” from Priore.
“Your name is just synonymous with volunteering and helping out in the community,” Siskind said.
“I’ve got a huge support group in everything I’ve ever done, and that’s what makes it so fun,” Priore said.
Below is the full profile of Priore provided by the Palm Beach County School District:
“Terri Priori has volunteered in five different schools in Palm Beach County. Terri’s service began in 2000 at Binks Forest Elementary School. At Binks, she served for 14 years as a room mom, volunteered in the media center and as a chaperone and also served on the PTA Board as Secretary, Vice President and Treasurer.
“She also served on various committees, such as School Advisory Council (SAC), parade float, book fair, Meet the Masters Program, Gove FCAT Boxes, popcorn Fridays, Box Tops, Food for Families, toy drive, and fifth grade parties.
“She was the Five Star School Coordinator for 13 years. Terri was the founding member of the carnival, Holiday Hut, and Phantom Fundraiser committees that created the framework for these events that have become annual events raising over $40,000 a year for the school.
“Terri also volunteered at Bak Middle School of the Arts for three years helping with annual haunted house and gift wrapping fundraisers along with Strings concerts. At Wellington Landings Middle School (FY09-11) she served as PTSO Treasurer for three years and served on the 6th, 7th and 8th dance committees and carnival committee. Additionally, she was the Five Star School Award coordinator for four years.
“At Emerald Cove Middle School (FY15-17), Terri was the PTSA Treasurer for three years, Five Star School Award coordinator for two years. She also served on the fundraising committee, Box Tops and SAC. At Palm Beach Central High School (FY10-present) Terri has volunteered helping in Student Services and with quarterly blood drives for four years. She has been a SAC member for five years. She has been the Project Graduation Sponsorship Committee Chair, Project Graduation Chair, and Co-Chair of the Prize Committee.
“Terri has served as Palm Beach Central High’s Five Star School Award coordinator for eight years – including two years when she didn’t have a child at the school. She has volunteered for annual Interact Dodgeball Tournament for six years and for the Volleyball Team.
“Since 2010 Terri helped coordinate fundraising events for the Equestrian Sports Production Great Charity Challenge. The Great Charity Challenge is a horse jumping event at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center that raises thousands of dollars for 11 Wellington area schools which are a part of 34 randomly drawn local charities.”