A Carus Elementary School teacher and a Carus counselor were given the awards last month

Canby School District recently honored two recipients of the Canby Area Recognition of Excellence Award.

The CARE Award provides a monthly opportunity for the community to recognize individual teachers, counselors, coaches and other school staff who make a difference in the lives of others and in the community. The recipients are decided by a CARE committee made up of community members who review the nominations and make the selection.

Having missed November, the committee selected two recipients for December. Both from Carus, they were Anna Jones, a first-year kindergarten teacher, and Stacey Ackerman, the school counselor.

PHOTO COURTESY OF CANBY SCHOOL DISTRICT - Pictured from left to right are: Matt Olsen, Brenda Griffin, Carus Counselor Stacey Ackerman, Carus Teacher Anna Jones and Carus Principal Sam Thompson.

Jones was initially hired by the district to teach at Lee Elementary, but before the first day of school came along, she was transferred to Carus.

"That's not normally how we do things here Anna, just to let you know," Superintendent Trip Goodall said at the Dec. 14 school board meeting where the awards were presented. "But she was so gracious and understanding, and the staff rallied."

"I think what's so impressive about Anna is really truly as a first-year teacher…she has intuition and skills beyond her years." -Sam Thompson

Jones was given the award because of her flexibility, positive attitude and being an "example of grace in action," according to the district's announcement.

"I think what's so impressive about Anna is really truly as a first-year teacher…she has intuition and skills beyond her years," Carus Principal Sam Thompson said at the meeting. "She has a confident, calm demeanor. Her kids love her. She has a job that I'm going to argue that most of us in this room could not do, and she is a year one teacher."

Ackerman was recognized for the impact that she has made not only at Carus Elementary School, but throughout the Carus community and broader community. She established the Carus Cares program, which provides families in need with important items, such as shoes or hairbrushes. She also implemented the Giving Tree program at the school and she coordinates care baskets for those going through troubling times.

"Her heart is bigger than anyone's I have ever seen." -Sam Thompson

"Her heart is bigger than anyone's I have ever seen," Thompson said at the Dec. 14 meeting. "I would also add: she's a cheerleader for our staff. And she sort of, in a very short time, has become a glue for our building in terms of keeping people spirited and energized, more than anybody I've ever worked with in fact. So she's very deserving of this and I'm really proud that she was awarded that."

To nominate someone for the CARE Award, nomination forms are available on the district's website.

Kristen Wohlers
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