MEDINA, Ohio -- She teaches Spanish at St. Francis Xavier School, orders uniforms for CYO sports, organizes fundraisers and is the brains behind Birthcare of Medina County.
But Diane Bugner’s community involvement isn’t anything new – which is one of the reasons Scott Sabol chose her as his Hometown Hero.
Diane's involvement at St. Francis Xavier can be traced back to the 1980s when her own kids attended the school.
That’s long before most of the staff started working there.
“Diane's been here at St. Francis Xavier School working with the CYO and its board for decades now," explained Father Tony Sejba. “Diane has just been a wonderfully generous volunteer for the course of many years, even before I got here."
Over the years, Diane has taught Spanish at every level from Kindergarten through 8th grade.
She commands the classroom with an unassuming presence.
Her grandson, Zach Bugner, who is in first grade, sees her more as a grandma than as a teacher.
“She's nice and kind," he told Fox 8 News.
When the school day at St. Francis Xavier is over, it’s a five-minute walk across the street to Birthcare of Medina County, a non-profit organization that provides assistance to less fortunate mothers and children.
Diane has been an integral part of the operation almost since the beginning.
“Diane's role is extremely important here,” said Barb Harris, the director of Birthcare of Medina County. “She not only does the financial part of the running of the non-profit but she acts as my go-to person for everything.”
Diane goes about her day in a no-nonsense way. She's incredibly efficient and loving at the same time.
All the while she is passing down her selfless character to the people she reaches each day as if it were her first.
“I think that's really significant that you see the same patterns of behavior or activity that I saw when I first came to Medina twenty years ago,” said Sr. Sandra Bevec, the principal at St. Francis Xavier. “And now you see her grandchildren being involved in some of those very same things, too."
Diane is a silent leader; a quiet presence in the school and in the community.
Though she is deserving of these accolades, she is not comfortable with the all of the attention, but the kids made her feel at ease.
“I can't tell you the number of people, children who came up to me and gave me hugs. Children are a calming influence to me. Their hugs are like healing hugs to me,” Diane said.
Many titles describe Diane: administrative assistant, teacher, organizer… but "role model for children” is definitely at the top of the list.
"I like dealing with children,” Diane said. “I like giving them the opportunities that my children had. I want them to continue to have those opportunities."
And Diane has no plans to slow down any time soon.
"There is no one taking my place so I have to keep on doing them. Keeps you young to keep busy," she said with a smile.