NTPS would like to recognize Tom Fell for his exceptional volunteer service in our district. Tom passed away in October of 2020 and leaves a strong legacy of service to our district and community.
Tom served over 2,000 volunteer hours tutoring students at Nisqually Middle School, Chinook Middle School, and North Thurston High School. “He actively sought out the kids who needed the most help,” said NTHS Teacher-Librarian Stephen Coker. Starting in 2010, Tom tutored students five days a week during the school day, helping in any subject they needed. And for students who struggled to engage with their schoolwork? “He would ask ‘What are you interested in?’ and would look up articles on any topic that they could read together, to keep students learning and practicing reading,” says his wife, Suzanne Fell.
Tom was an outstanding role model for our students – through his career in anesthesiology, extensive volunteer work across the globe, and service to our local community. He co-founded Thurston County Medic One in 1974 – the first public, county-wide, tiered response EMS system in the United States – and served within the organization until 2018. Throughout his career as an anesthesiologist at St. Peter Hospital, he frequently traveled overseas to teach and provide medical care. In retirement, he not only volunteered with NTPS, but also with after school tutoring programs at Lacey Boys & Girls Club and Good Shepard Lutheran Church. Tom & Suzanne's two daughters, Liz Fell Pauldine and Katie Fell Niemann, are both graduates of North Thurston High School.