VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: HELEN BACHTELL
By Megan Maynard
Meet Helen Bachtell, who is featured in our STPS Volunteer Spotlight of the Month.
Born in Santa Fe and then residing in Colorado from the age of 5, Helen was first introduced to Indialantic when her husband’s aerospace career brought them to the Space Coast. Their time here was brief but described as life changing, and they both agreed to buy a home here one day. That day has arrived, and now they are enjoying the benefits of sharing their time between Colorado and Florida.
For most of her career, Helen taught elementary school, which included many subjects like space science, afterschool activities, and oral interpretation. She was also the facilitator of the Scrips Howard Spelling Bee at her school and the district pronouncer as well. Prior to her teaching career, she had a rather illustrious quilting business than continues today. She not only ran her own quilt business but was editorial assistant of the national publication, Quiltmaker Magazine. Her specialty was miniature quilt making and she has won state, national, and international recognition for her work. She continues to enjoy designing, quilting, and sewing daily.
Helen has been a member of STPS for 26 years. After speaking with a neighbor in the ‘90s, they embarked on a turtle walk to observe a sea turtle laying her eggs. It was at that moment she was hooked.
A current member found Helen in the volunteer registry and reached out to her as there was a need to reorganize the educational resources. She happily obliged. After speaking with children (which was a natural fit), she recognized the need to revamp the programs. She redesigned the children’s puppet show and created resources spanning grades K-6. Fast forward and she is now the children’s program coordinator.
Helen has many achievements with STPS but fondly remembers her favorites. She helped establish the Junior Ambassador Program for K-6, the Turtle Talk board game, and the Sea Turtle Survival game. Both games are her unique creations, and she has even had offers to buy the Turtle Talk game and is hoping the Sea Turtle Survival game will garner the same response.
With all of the opportunities available as a volunteer, Helen believes everyone has an invaluable skill set. While being a volunteer, you have the flexibility to create a role with a workload you can manage. She notes that facing a challenge alone can seem daunting but with a focused team, the reward after surmounting that challenge is HUGE!
As part of her future goals she wants to manage and continue to facilitate the Junior Ambassador Program, continue to generate educational resources, modify and update current presentations to include video production, to assist in organizing the STPS Education Center, train others to present and educate children, and participate in nesting surveys.