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Volunteer makes a difference at Cayuse Prairie School

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KALISPELL, Mont. - Jody Harp is a Cayuse Prairie School volunteer who lives by the motto "there's always something that needs to be done."

She says as a volunteer she doesn't really have a title. "I'm the miscellaneous person," Harp said. All she knows is that there's always something to do.

"I can do pretty much everything except the custodial work," Harp said.

But if you ask some of the students they know exactly who you're talking about.

"Ms. Harp is one of the volunteer teachers that help out in the classroom. She's just one of the nicest people I've met," student Tyler Corbett said.

From volunteering in the library to helping put the yearbook together, if there's a school function Harp is there.

Teachers we spoke with say she's an invaluable asset.

"I know if I need a parent to count on, I have Ms. Harp right there as my back-up," Cayuse Prairie teacher Susi Byrne said.

This is Byrne's second year at the school and she says she's still learning the ropes. But having Harp's experience and knowledge has made it that much easier.

"She steps in and she just knows, which is awesome," Byrne said.

Despite all the help she does teaching students, Harp says she's usually learning a lesson herself.

"The kids are so fun, and I learn something every day from them. Even though I'm much older than them, they teach me something every day, everybody from kindergarten to eighth grade. So I just love being around the kids all the time," Harp said.

Harp is a graduate of Cayuse Prairie and her family has lived in the valley for over 70 years.

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