District Volunteer Coordinator Presented With Adele Graham Award for Excellence in Promoting School Volunteerism

December 2017

Debi Elfen, Volunteer Coordinator for the School District of Palm Beach County, received a welcome surprise while attending the Florida Association of Partners in Education (FAPE) fall leadership conference in Orlando.


Unbeknownst to her, but no surprise to her husband and two daughters who secretly traveled to Orlando for the occasion, Ms. Elfen was named the recipient of the 2017 Adele Graham Awardfor her efforts in promoting school volunteerism.

The award is named for Adele Graham, wife of former Florida Governor Bob Graham, who advocated the importance of having strong volunteer programs in all Florida schools.

It is presented annually to a District school volunteer coordinator who has mirrored Mrs. Graham’s passion and leadership for school volunteer programs.

As the volunteer coordinator for the School District, Ms. Elfen manages the school volunteer program for 42,000 volunteers serving in Palm Beach County public schools.  She has worked for the District for more than 19 years in the Department of Communications and Engagement, has served as FAPE’s Vice President of Business Partnerships and is currently the Regional Representative for Region 5.

“When they called my name as the winner, I was completely overwhelmed,” Ms. Elfen said. “I have seen the caliber of awardees through the years and was honored that my peers felt that I was deserving to be among them. As I walked up, I saw that my husband and two daughters had taken off from work and driven to Orlando to share in the excitement. It meant the world to me. It’s something I will treasure for the rest of my life.”

As the 2017 Adele Graham Award winner, Ms. Elfen received a commemorative trophy and a $500 monetary prize. The Graham family sponsors the award package, continuing the family legacy of promoting school volunteerism.

If you have some free time and talents you would like to share with our schools, please visit the District’s Volunteers Page for more information on how to get involved.

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