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Kic: Putting trash in its place

Kendall Kic lives in the Hayhurst neighborhood with her husband, Ken Shults. They have three children, Drake, a seventh-grader at Hayhurst School, Jasper, a 10th-grader at Wilson High School, and Tony, a Cleveland High School graduate.by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Kendall Kic.

Kic’s volunteer efforts began several years ago at Hayhurst. She began co-hosting the Friday Morning Coffee Cart in 2008 and hosted the Superstar Reader program in 2009 for two years.

Inspired to make an impact on the environment, Kic started a recycling program at Hayhurst called Without a Trace Team (WATT) in 2009 where student lunch waste is reduced by composting, recycling drink cartons, drink pouches, energy and cereal bar wrappers, chip and snack bags and glue products. They have also replaced throwaway items with reusable items, return all used Crayola markers to the manufacturer and properly dispose of old batteries.

Kic invites everyone to come visit the Hayhurst Coffee Cart on Friday mornings from 7:45 to 8:20 a.m. and bring in your dead batteries.

Deanne Froehlich, Hayhurst School principal, reports that every Friday Kic zips around the building wearing her roller skates, gathering up materials from each classroom to recycle.

“Kendall gets it done, with a smile on her face, and a bit of recycling information to share,” said Froehlich.

In 2010, Kic became the first Sustainability PTA chair for Hayhurst and has been instrumental in the school becoming a member of the Eco-School Network, a program through the Center for Earth Leadership.

Through the efforts of volunteers like Kic, Hayhurst was also recently named an Oregon Green School with Merit Status (oregongreenschools.org).

To further measure the effectiveness of the school’s recycling program, Kic will lead WATT’s annual waste audit at Hayhurst on April 25. Stay tuned for the results!

Froehlich said, “Kendall Kic keeps us on the cutting edge of recycling. From student education on what to recycle and where to get it done (in the cafeteria, in the classroom, at home and in the community), to engaging the community to bring in materials that Kendall will take to be recycled.”

Working in the broader community, she is also a site volunteer with the Community Recycling program in Southwest Portland (community-recycling.org/#).

Making a difference for her children is important to Kic.

“One thing I can do is use my hands and turn a giant pile destined for a landfill into a tiny pile,” she said. “Volunteering in school physically connects me to the neighborhood.

“A volunteer job in a school, introduces you to the neighborhood and reminds you to be exuberant,” Kic added.

Leading by example, Kendall Kic is proof that one person can make a difference.

Every day, hundreds of volunteers make our community a better place to live. This column features volunteers whose energy and commitment promote a sense of community and inspire us. Do you know a volunteer who deserves some recognition? Send the name and contact information for the volunteer with details about his or her work to Linda Doyle at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.