'What Gini [Saltmarsh's] skill and talent is, is really infecting others with the love of reading.' -Eccles Principal Andy McKean

HERALD PHOTO: KRISTEN WOHLERS - Eccles librarian Gini Saltmarsh receives the October CARE Award.Eccles Elementary librarian Gini Saltmarsh was still chewing on a carrot at lunchtime when she was asked to quickly come to the cafeteria. There, Eccles students and staff were waiting alongside Superintendent Trip Goodall to present her with October's Canby Area Recognition of Excellence Award. The kids cheered wildly, stomped their feet and stood to honor Saltmarsh.

"The kids really responded in such an amazing way," Goodall said. "It's just really indicative of how much they really appreciate your work, so congratulations."

Each month, Canby Kiwanis and Canby School District honor a district staff member with this CARE Award. Canby Kiwanis established it to provide opportunities to recognize individual teachers, counselors, coaches and other school staff who make a difference in the lives of others and in the community.

The prospective recipients must be nominated, and the honoree is then decided by a CARE committee made up of members from Kiwanis and the community.

Saltmarsh was nominated by fellow Library Instructional Assistant Cortney Tamimi of Ninety-One School. After the surprise at Eccles, Saltmarsh was also honored at the monthly school board meeting.

"It's wonderful when you get a colleague that nominates somebody for this award, because it says so much about your work," Goodall said during the award presentation.

Eccles Principal Andy McKean was present both at the school surprise and the board meeting. He took the opportunity to boast about Saltmarsh's impact at the school.

"You can find a lot of people who love reading, they love books, and Gini certainly loves books. But what Gini's skill and talent is, is really infecting others with the love of reading," McKean said. "There's so many kids that come into the library, and they don't necessarily consider themselves readers, but nobody escapes the library without a book that they're really excited to read. And that takes a lot of work and a lot of talent to get books into kids' hands, especially when they're resistant or reluctant to do that."

Saltmarsh received a plaque and rewards from local businesses in recognition of her efforts. Local sponsors of the CARE Award include Canby Kiwanis, Columbia Bank, DirectLink, The Wild Hare, Backstop Bar & Grill, Rice Time, The Human Bean, Cutsforth's Thriftway, Gwynn's Coffeehouse, and Team Spirit.

To nominate someone for the CARE Award, nomination forms can be found on the district's website here.

Kristen Wohlers
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