Mother of three makes time for basketball, volunteering
Tammy Stallbaumer plans to attend a lot of basketball games this year.
With boys in three of De Soto's schools, Stallbaumer will go to games for De Soto High School, Lexington Trails Middle School and even her Mize Elementary School first-grader.
"We don't know how, but you just make the time when your kid's playing," she said.
Her oldest, Paul, is a freshman this year. Her son Ryan is a sixth-grader at Lexington Trails and her youngest, Robby, is a Mize student.
Tammy and her husband, Joe, moved to De Soto about five years ago from Wichita when Joe took a job with AT&T. The family happily chose the De Soto school district.
"I really like the schools," she said. "I think the kids have great opportunities and very caring teachers."
Aside from all the basketball games, Stallbaumer helps with her sons' schools in a variety of ways. The stay-at-home-mom enjoys spending time at Mize, helping students improve their literacy skills.
"I help test the kids on lightning reading," she said. "We test them to see if they're making progress every other Monday. The kids get really excited about it."
Stallbaumer said she is just one of many volunteers at Mize.
"They have quite a few volunteers at that school," she said. "It's fun, and it's nice to be involved."
Stallbaumer also serves as treasurer for the Lexington Trails parent group Parents At Work for Students.
"We're involved with the different fund-raisers and trying to help the teachers," she said. "We purchase rewards for student achievements."
PAWS sponsors activities such as an end-of-the year barbecue for students, sells Panther Pride clothing at games and has ice cream socials at the beginning of the school year.
The family belongs to Holy Family Catholic Church in Eudora. Stallbaumer also teaches catechism classes on Wednesdays. That makes it difficult for her to get involved in the De Soto High School booster club just yet, since it also meets Wednesdays, but Stallbaumer said she planned to find some way to get involved at DHS, also.
"That's the nice thing about De Soto, there really are a lot of volunteers," she said. "I think it's nice to support the teachers in all that they do. I want the kids to know we're interested in their education and I enjoy getting into the schools and getting to know their friends."
Recently, Stallbaumer also became involved in a group called "Sound Start," whose aim is to provide support and technology for children with hearing loss. The committee is still in the founding process, she said.
Stallbaumer's son Robby was born hearing impaired and was able to hear after getting a special hearing device implant. She said her son now has nearly normal hearing.
"We just want to provide better information to help serve the children," she said.
Stallbaumer said she hoped her volunteer work would make a difference. She knows it has already made a difference in her and her family.
"It's important to be involved, as opposed to leaving it up to someone else," she said.
- The De Soto Explorer is running a series on those who, like Tammy Stallbaumer, are making a difference in the community through volunteerism. To suggest someone for recognition, call 585-1616 or e-mail the newspaper at email@example.com.