Hastings named chamber’s top volunteer

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(Photo courtesy GREATER SANDPOINT CHAMBER OF COMMERCE) Greater Sandpoint Chamber board member Cory Donenfeld, right, presents John Hastings with the chamber’s Volunteer of the Month at the June 13 meeting.

SANDPOINT — An influential teacher and avid volunteer, John Hastings has been a part of many causes and groups over the years.

Hastings’ contributions were recognized by the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce on June 13 as it named him the organization’s June volunteer of the month.

In addition to his career in teaching, astings has contributed to countless causes and organizations as well as working with the Idaho Fish and Game on habitat restoration projects on the Pack River and Clark Fork River Delta, including his students when possible.

Hastings also served on the Bonner County Bonfire Committee, working to secure grants for wildfire mitigation projects; the city of Sandpoint’s Planning and Zoning Commission; as the quality assurance officer for the Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeepers, and is also a frequent volunteer with the Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness, leading hikes, building trails, and drinking beer.

In addition, Hastings has served on the Idaho Department of Education’s curriculum writing committee for natural resources programs. He coordinates all student volunteers for the Water Festival at Riley Creek and assists the Kaniksu Land Trust with habitat evaluations projects.

Hastings also often offers his musical talents for various organizations and fundraisers and is in the Praise Band at First Lutheran Church.

He is the facility advisor for the Outdoor Adventure Club, Sustainability Club and the newly formed Sasquatch Club at Sandpoint High School. He is currently planning to lead a group of students to work on a coral reef restoration project in the Caribbean.

“Mr. Hastings was my favorite teacher. He made learning fun and other than test day, I looked forward to going to his class,” said former student and chamber board member Cory Donenfeld. “He has inspired thousands of kids just like me.”

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