NewsPositively Hampton Roads


People Taking Action: Local educator holds down two jobs and still takes action in her community!

Posted at 6:12 PM, Oct 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-23 18:12:30-04

NORFOLK, Va. - With cameras rolling, News 3 is about to surprise a special volunteer in the Ocean View section of Norfolk.

At a recent Pinewell Civic League meeting, something that wasn't on the agenda was just getting started, thanks to member JoAnn Goodwin.  She stepped to the podium and said this:

"I want to read this to you; something I sent in."

It was an email she sent to News 3 about the civil league's secretary, Liz Burns.

Burns is a "behind-the-scenes" person, but the P.E. teacher at Mary Calcott Elementary School is being celebrated for taking action. In addition to being with the Norfolk Public Schools system for nearly 30 years, she also teaches evening classes at Tidewater Community College and manages to find time in her Pinewell community to take action: sending out news alerts to neighbors, recruiting them to pick up trash - volunteering for her civic league in various ways for the past 20 years.

JoAnn mentioned a few examples in that email to the newsroom.

"When the hurricane was coming, Liz immediately sprang into action and called our city managers to vacuum out our storm drains and the street sweeper was up and down our streets, preparing us for what was yet to come," she wrote. "When one of our neighbors was battling cancer, Liz organized a blood drive. All of the neighbors in Pinewell are grateful for our friend Liz. Because of her, Pinewell is the best place to live."

For those reasons News 3 presented her with a People Taking Action award, plus a $300 Visa gift card from our community partner, Southern Bank.

Liz was very surprised and thankful. I asked how she manages to get involved working days and nights.

"I don't require a lot of sleep. I get up early," Liz said matter-of-factly.

But she does acknowledge it is tough for people to manage careers, family life and getting involved.

JoAnn says it was important for her to get Liz the recognition she deserves.

"Well, she is so dedicated to all of us and she's like a friend and she's so dedicated," JoAnn told us. "I mean, I see her walking up the streets picking up trash and she's organizing things, and she inspires me."

Do you know someone who's worthy of a People Taking Action award? Click here to nominate them!