This month, in front of Canby School District principals and leaders, Superintendent Trip Goodall surprised Jennifer Dennis with the Canby Area Recognition of Excellence Award.
Dennis works at the district office as a data specialist, providing necessary data analysis to report to the state and more. In particular, she's being honored for her commitment to equity.
"You were nominated because people really recognize the work you do for the entire school district—your eye on the equity data, the way in which we're starting to make decisions that focus on looking at data as a way to inform our decision-making," Goodall said during the surprise. "That certainly caught the eye of one of our staff members and all of us."
Every month, Canby Kiwanis and Canby School District honor a district staff member like Dennis 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.
Marilyn Wood, of Kiwanis, was present for the surprise, and she took the opportunity to say a few words of thanks.
"I've just been thinking about how much you do and how important the work you do is," Wood said. "I was thinking back to the old days when we first started getting the data we had and how it changed our practices, and it continues to. You bring up so many questions that are so important. So I do thank you so much for what you're doing."
After being surprised with the honor, Dennis was later honored at the November school board meeting.
There, Ivonne Dibblee, the district's director of teaching and learning, offered her take on why Dennis is so deserving of the award.
"I was so happy to hear that Jen had been nominated for this award, and when she got it, we were all thrilled in the central office because she really does so much more than just look at numbers and crunch numbers," Dibblee said. "She creates stories about those numbers. She allows us to see what kids are behind those numbers."
As this month's recipient of Kiwanis's and the district's CARE Award, Dennis received a plaque and a gift basket from local businesses. Local sponsors of the CARE Award include Canby Kiwanis, Hot Rod Dreamworks, State Farm Insurance-Matt Olsen, Columbia Bank, DirectLink, The Wild Hare, Backstop Bar & Grill, Rice Time, Gwynn's Coffeehouse, Swan Island Dahlias, Puddin' River Chocolates and Glenmore Farms.
To nominate someone who you believe is deserving of the CARE Award, nomination forms can be found on the district's website here.
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