AMERICAN CANYON — Pam Phillips is one busy lady.
Phillips, a mom of two American Canyon High School students, has been actively volunteering at the American Canyon high school and middle school since her kids enrolled years ago.
If it has anything to do with activities her kids are involved with, Phillips is there. That includes American Canyon middle and high school clubs and events, after-school sports, concessions, field trips, 4-H, theater, band and more.
“I try and do everything I can to help the coaches and teachers so they can concentrate on teaching and coaching,” said Phillips. “I do it for them.”
Phillips and her family moved to American Canyon in 2008. She works full time as a lab analyst at the water reclamation facility in the city of American Canyon. Her husband, Tom Phillips, is the general manager at Recology Vallejo and American Canyon.
Between her two students — senior Haley Konoval and freshman George Konoval – they have played baseball, football, water polo, been on the swim team, in theater and band, raised large animals for 4-H and more.
“My kids are very busy,” she said. For example, between sports and band, her son sometimes spends up to 12 hours a day at the campus, she said.
“Every day I’m running over there back and forth. I feel like we’re all in high school during the sports seasons,” she said.
The American Canyon resident is originally from Ohio. When she was growing up, her mom and dad frequently volunteered in her schools.
“It’s just what they did,” she said.
Phillips played sports like softball, volleyball and basketball — none of which her kids play, she said with a laugh.
Because her parents set such an example, “I’ve always tried to help where needed.”
One of the best parts about volunteering so much at the school is that “I get to know a lot of the kids that are there — kids from all walks of life,” she said.
“I see them all the time,” she said. “It’s fun to watch them succeed in what they are doing.” she said. “I think I help in that.”
Depending on the sport and season, she could volunteer between eight and 30 hours a week.
Phillips works at her city job from 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., “so I can get them after school and do all their activities with them.”
“I’m very fortunate to work in the city where I live,” she said.
Phillips said that she appreciates what the coaches and teachers are doing for the students.
“For me, it’s my way of paying them back.”
Besides that, “I really enjoy giving back to the community as well. I want to see it be a successful community. I just think it’s the right thing to do.”
She hopes that this spirit of volunteering will rub off on her children “so they’ll know about helping their community when they get older and making it a better place to live.”
Phillips encouraged others to also volunteer.
“I know what it’s like to try and put on an event or raise money for a program. It’s always the same parents over and over again,” she said.
But, “There is job for everybody. Everybody can do one thing. It doesn’t have to take all of your time.”
“There is always something to be done. No matter what.”