If you visit the campus of Topeka West High School in the evenings or on weekends, you’ll probably find Doug Shima hard at work. Doug is not a Topeka Public Schools employee, but rather a parent who knows the importance of volunteering for the good of the school and his kids.
Doug spends countless hours planting and watering flowers and shrubs that help make the Topeka West campus so beautiful. He helped lead the recent ShareFest effort at Topeka West, overseeing the 250 volunteers and the Charger football team who helped put 200 plants in the soil and mulch all the gardens around campus.
Doug praises the Topeka West maintenance crew. He says they share the same philosophy thathe does that the outside of the campus should be just a beautiful as what is going on inside the school. “When teachers, students and parents are proud of their school and the way it looks, it builds a community that is really strong,” said Shima.
Doug has a student at Topeka West and one at Jardine Middle School. He says it has been proven that students whose parents are involved in schools, do better than students whose parents are not involved. That’s one reason he gives so much to the schools. “If I can be an example for other parents to show how to be involved, I know it will increase the chances for their students’ success,” said Shima.
What’s next for Doug Shima and Topeka West? His dream is to create a focal point on the west side of the campus whether it be a large garden or possible a memorial to former Topeka West students.
Topeka West Principal Dustin Dick nominated Doug Shima for the Above & Beyond Award. If you would like to nominate someone, you can find the nomination form on the district website by going to www.topekapublicschools.net. Click on staff/forms for staff/district programs/above & beyond.