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The district recognizes school staff with the monthly award for outstanding dedication to students and the community.

Canby School District has been busy handing out Canby Area Recognition of Excellence Awards recently, with the April award going to Eccles third-grade teacher Jacquie Fitch, the May honor to Baker Prairie band teacher Jordan Paulus, and the June award to retiring Canby High Career Technical Education teacher Todd Roberts.

COURTESY PHOTO: CANBY SCHOOL DISTRICT - Third grade teacher Jacquie Fitch received the April CARE award.

The CARE committee surprised Fitch in the Eccles cafeteria during third-grade lunch. Students cheered, while a few held up a large banner that read, "Congrats, Mrs. Fitch!"

Fitch, who is a National Board-certified teacher, is known for her dedication to her students even after they leave her classroom.

"Jacquie has stated numerous times that once a child is in her class, they are her students forever," said the nomination from a community member.

Fitch also was nominated for teaching to the whole student — acknowledging both their academic and emotional needs.

COURTESY PHOTO: CANBY SCHOOL DISTRICT - Middle school band teacher Jordan Paulus received the May CARE award.

The following month, the CARE committee visited Baker Prairie's band classroom to honor Paulus, who was nominated for his supportive and positive approach to teaching and for growing the band program.

Like other teachers during the pandemic, Paulus taught his students over Zoom. Baker Prairie Principal Jennifer Turner noted that even so, band students have grown as musicians.

"They sound great," she said of the band, as she turned to Paulus and told him, "You are so deserving of this."

The band class then proceeded to play an impromptu song for the CARE committee.

COURTESY PHOTO: CANBY SCHOOL DISTRICT - Canby's June CARE award was given to retiring teacher Todd Roberts.

Before May's end, in an effort to celebrate one last recipient ahead of summer break, the CARE committee ventured to Canby High School, where they surprised Roberts with the June award.

Roberts was honored for leading the CTE department, coordinating grants and budgets, helping put together the makerspace, and advocating for kids.

As he prepares to retire after the school year, he said the staff and students have made his journey in education a "fun ride."

Of the CARE Awards, Superintendent Aaron Downs said to Roberts, "It's a time to stop and say thank you and to recognize your hard work. We are incredibly proud and thank you for everything you do for us."

Canby Kiwanis established the CARE Awards 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, Canby Kiwanis and Canby School District honor a district staff member with the award each month.

If you know someone like these three teachers who you believe is deserving of a CARE Award, a nomination form can be found on the district's website.

Local sponsors of the CARE Awards include Kiwanis and Columbia Bank, along with Backstop Bar & Grill, Wayward Sandwiches, Swan Island Dahlias, Puddin' River Chocolates, Matt Olsen State Farm Insurance, RiceTime Canby, The Book Nook, Odd Moe's Pizza, The Wild Hare Saloon and DirectLink.


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