February 29, 2016
Honoree: Mary Hayward, Spokane Valley
Nominator: East Valley School District ECEAP Team
Mary Hayward is a remarkable woman. Beginning in her childhood, Mary encountered multiple traumas and hardships, persevered and grew into the beautiful young woman she is today. Although it would be understandable for Mary to be guarded and fearful about forming new relationships, she made a choice to be vulnerable. As a busy single mother of 8 children, she puts her heart and soul into parenting and still finds the energy to volunteer in the school system.
Three years ago she committed to being an active parent in the ECEAP program. She pushed through her fears of being judged and has become the vice-chair of our preschool parent committee as well as an influential member of the county wide ECEAP Policy Council Committee. She has built genuine relationships with school district staff, as well as friendships with other parents in the school.
In addition, Mary is extremely well organized and has developed highly effective skills which enable her to navigate community systems to advocate for her family's needs. She has also learned she has an aptitude for helping others. Daily, she improves our community by lending an ear and sharing her knowledge about community resources with other parents. For these reasons and many more, all the East Valley ECEAP Family Service Coordinators nominate Mary Hayward for the Unsung Hero Award.