Canby School District gave Ninety-One English language teacher Heidi Wilson the April Canby Area Recognition of Excellence Award.
Canby Kiwanis established the CARE Award 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, or sometimes honorees, are then decided by a CARE committee made up of members from Kiwanis and the community.
Typically, every month, Canby Kiwanis and Canby School District honor a district staff member with the award. However, when schools were abruptly shut down last spring, it was suspended.
That meant Ninety-One School Principal Skyler Rodolph's nomination of Wilson had to wait.
Now that the award is back, the school district honored that nomination, and Rodolph noted Wilson is more deserving than ever.
"Her work and excellence have continued even through a very difficult year," Rodolph said at the April 15 school board meeting, where the award was announced.
Rodolph admitted he had spun "quite the tale" to get Wilson to attend the meeting so that the award would be a surprise.
When she learned why she was really there, Wilson expressed her surprise through tears.
"Thank you very much," Wilson said. "It's been a team effort this year."
Wilson, who has worked for four years at Ninety-One School as the head English Language Development teacher, is being honored for her work with students and for how she serves the larger school community, including staff.
Wilson has put countless hours into creating meaningful learning opportunities for her students, including hatching chicks in her classroom. She helps plan family nights. And according to Rodolph, she is wonderful to her peers.
"She cares for each and every one of us, always checking in on those who need support and encouragement," Rodolph said in the nomination. "She has organized and hosted several staff paint nights and other events designed to build strong school community. She is the epitome of positive school climate and culture."
Rodolph added at the meeting, "She's one of those ladies who you're a better person because she's in your life —whether you're a student or a colleague. So I can't think of anybody more that I want to spin a lie to in order to get her to come to a school board meeting and honor her."
As the April recipient of the Kiwanis' and district's CARE Award, Wilson received a plaque thanks to area businesses.
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 in English and Spanish can be found on the district's website at www.canby.k12.or.us/en-US/care-awards-2c19d9ed.
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