The New Prague Way - Super Sisters

Kelsey and Coley

New Prague Area Schools are blessed to have many committed volunteers helping out in our buildings. But to say volunteers Kelsey and Coley Novak are dedicated is an understatement. For the last nine and seven years respectively, Kelsey and Coley have hardly missed a day of sharing their talents with our students.

Kelsey and Coley, daughters of Roger and Cathy Novak, both graduated from NPHS. Kelsey in 2009 and Coley in 2011. The sisters have Morquio Syndrome, a disease that affects their bones and stunts their growth, but it hasn’t slowed them down from making an impact in our classrooms.

Kelsey spent her first five years after graduation volunteering with Lisa (Josephson) Sneen at the Middle School. “My mom and Lisa were friends and I had her as a teacher. She talked to my parents about me helping out in her classroom and that’s how I got started,” said Kelsey. When Ms. Sneen moved to Falcon Ridge four years ago, Kelsey followed her there. She has also volunteered with Rich Wilson and Erika Ehrich.

The Novaks were also good friends with Mary Drazan, second grade teacher at Falcon Ridge. Coley was Mrs. Drazan’s high school helper while in school and so it was a natural fit for her to volunteer with her after graduation and all seven years since.

The Novak sisters do a variety of tasks from correcting papers to assisting with technology and providing students with extra help in any subject. “Anything the teachers need help with, we are there to assist,” said Coley.

“They help us in so many ways, it’s hard to even begin to describe all that they do,” said Sneen. “Coley keeps everything flowing smoothly in my classroom,” said Drazan. “She's my support. I always bounce new ideas off of her because I value her opinion.”

And for as much as they help the teachers, their impact is even greater with the students. “Coley means so much to our kids. They love and respect her. Our class just isn't the same when she's gone,” said Drazan. “It is very difficult to put into words just how much Kelsey means to our students,” said Sneen. “Kelsey has touched the lives of so many students. Every student instantly likes and trusts Kelsey due to her calm, positive, and genuine nature. Students appreciate her daily unwavering patience, kindness, and helpfulness.”

“Kelsey and Coley are truly some of the most dedicated and selfless people I have ever met,” said Dave Giesen, Falcon Ridge Principal. “Everything they do is for the betterment of others.”

“The best part of what we do is seeing the students learn and grow,” said Kelsey. “It’s awesome to see former students and hear from the parents about how much we’ve meant to them.”

“I don’t know what we’d be doing if we didn’t volunteer here,” said Coley. “I just know we wouldn’t be as happy.”