Boys and Girls Club worker honored as ‘professional of the year’
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RONAN — The need for children to have positive teachers, leaders and role models in their lives is a constant that holds true across cultures, languages and time.
Finding people that represent those positive influences and are ready, willing and able to pass them on to children they are not related to can be rather difficult. However, T Ronan Boys and Girls Club faculty believe they have found just such a person in Doris Kuhn.
Kuhn, a longtime employee of Ronan’s Boys and Girls Club, won Professional of the Year during the Boys and Girls Club Montana Alliance’s annual conference in October.
Club director John Schnase said Kuhn was chosen as this year’s recipient because of her, “dedication to the club and making a great difference in the way things run there.”
Kuhn has served as the club’s office manager and program aide for the past eight years. She also runs the member tracking system that electronically records the attendance of all club members.
Schnase said many children who attend the club have difficult home lives. The system keeps track of who is allowed to pick up the children and ensures they are not sent home with the wrong person — a potentially dangerous situation. Schnase said Kuhn runs this program perfectly, therefore helping keep the children safe.
Schnase said Kuhn is of superior character and was brought up with traditional family values. She holds the children to the same high standard she sets for herself and expects them to treat each other with respect and kindness while helping them understand that what they do affects other people.
“Doris is our front line, you know?” Schnase said. “She is the first person you see when you walk in, and it’s good to know that someone like that is guarding the kids and making sure everything is in order for the club.”
Schnase added that Kuhn always sets an example for new staff members, teaching them the way they are expected to perform in front of the kids. One of Schnase’s most memorable moments with Kuhn was when a club member’s mother came to pick up her child from the club. The child asked Kuhn for something and said, “Please.”
“That parent looked from the kid to Doris and said, ‘Did I just hear what I think I did?’” Schnase laughed. “It doesn’t sound like much, but ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ mean a great deal.”
Employee Linda Brown has worked with Kuhn for a number of years and said the kids think Kuhn is awesome.
“She’s a really nice person with a lot of patience,” Brown said.
And Brown would know about patience. She has raised several foster kids and is currently raising another while taking care of her grandchildren.
“The kids have been involved in so many different things — hiking, camping, horseback riding — (the Boys and Girls Club has) been a great all-around program for the kids and we couldn’t do it without her,” Brown said. “She’s just been a blessing to all of us.”
Schnase’s son, Lee, said he’s worked with Kuhn for six years at the Ronan club and said he and the other staff members feel she deserves recognition for her hard work.
“She goes above and beyond for the kids,” Lee said.
“She does it way better than I’d ever be able to.”