Architect and Fernway parent Dan Bickerstaff
has sponsored several senior project students.
He also volunteered at an after-school program
called Making Our Own Spaces. Here, he shows
sophomore Lewis Fletcher how to use a power drill.
starting to figure out what they might be interested in. Having parents from
all different backgrounds come talk to them really helps them visualize how
they might apply that information someday.”
Mentors are also in demand for High School students seeking to explore
career options. Dan Bickerstaff, architect and owner of Ubiquitous Design,
Ltd. in Shaker Heights, has sponsored several Shaker students over the
years for their senior project. Two of those students are now pursuing
architectural studies in college.
Bickerstaff also volunteered at an after-school program called Making
Our Own Spaces, which gives Shaker Heights Middle School and High
School students the opportunity to design and build structures to enhance
their community. He spent an afternoon helping the kids learn to use power
tools and talking to them about what it’s like to be an architect.
“Without a doubt it’s very rewarding,” says Bickerstaff. “I want to give
back because so many people assisted me when I was a student.”
Ruth Mayers, for one, would love to see even more community
members join the ranks of volunteers in the Shaker schools. “People who
support education – that is the most important gift you can give to your
community. Grandparents in particular have a lot to offer, and I think we
don’t tap into it enough.” SL
Interested in volunteering, but
not sure what you’d like to do?
Step one is to visit
shaker.org/volunteer and fill
out a brief online survey. Or
call Keith Langford, Family
and Community Engagement
Coordinator, at 216-295-6268.
Volunteers who work oneon
one with Shaker students
outside the presence of a staff
member must complete a
background check that involves
having their fingerprints taken
at the Administration Building.
The process takes only a few
minutes and is valid for one
year. Call 216-295-4339 to
schedule an appointment.
No background check is
required for volunteers who
are always in the presence of a
The Parent Teacher
Organization (PTO) at
each school has volunteer
opportunities for every level of
interest and availability, both
during the day and outside
of school hours. Sign up at
Coffee on the Lawn at your
child’s school at the start of the
school year, or email your PTO
president at any time to learn
about volunteer opportunities.
Often, no particular expertise or
time commitment is required.
For a roster of PTO contacts,
SHAKER LIFE | SUMMER 2017 63