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4-H volunteer JoAnn Elston honored by city of Reno

Posted 12/18/2009

Photo of JoAnn Elston holding Reno City Council proclamation declaring Dec. 16 JoAnn Elston Day

Longtime 4-H volunteer JoAnn Elston has been recognized for her community service by the Reno City Council.

The council proclaimed Dec. 16 JoAnn Elston Day, acknowledging her extensive volunteer efforts and more than 35 years of volunteer service with University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s 4-H program in Nevada. JoAnn recently retired from 4-H volunteer work and was recently inducted in the 4-H Hall of Fame.

While working with 4-H, she headed up countless projects, from cooking to woodworking, and was instrumental in bringing the national "Make it with Wool" contest to northern Nevada. That contest brought national acclaim to the local 4-H organization by bringing wool producers and contestants to Reno from across the country.

"JoAnn is the kind of volunteer that you know will always be there," says Washoe County 4-H Program Coordinator Sarah Chvilicek. "JoAnn’s dedication to young people is steadfast and selfless. She says she is retiring, but JoAnn is always a phone call away from the 4-H program."

JoAnn was born in Lincoln, Neb., and moved to Nevada when she was 4 years old. She attended Carson City schools and graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno. She taught school in Nevada for 30 years, with 27 years teaching fourth- and fifth-graders at Echo Loder Elementary in Reno. She also taught gifted children entomology for 10 years. In 1978, she was named Nevada Teacher of Year by the Council of Chief State School Officers.

In addition to 4-H, JoAnn has been active with the University of Nevada, Reno in Volunteer Services and the UNR Foundation. She recently served on the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline and has been a member of the Nevada 4-H Camp Advisory Council. She’s an accomplished soloist and has sung the National Anthem at many UNR basketball and football games. She also served as President of the University of Nevada Alumni Association and played a major role in helping "save" the University’s Marching Band when budget cuts threatened the program.

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