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Baker Prairie Middle School math teacher David Purdy swoops up the December CARE award

This December, Baker Prairie math teacher and longtime school district staff member David Purdy received a special holiday gift. He was given the CARE Award.

Superintendent Trip Goodall surprised Purdy with the award during a packed eighth-grade math class.

"He had no idea, and then when I spoke to the class, it was spontaneous, incredible applause as soon as they heard what was going on," Goodall said during the formal presentation of the award at the December school board meeting. "And then they did it like three other times during the presentation. And then when I left…I closed the door—I was the last person to leave—and then they started clapping again."

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.

Purdy was nominated by a former student.

"[The nomination] was really well-written about how you provided [the former student] with an opportunity to learn that really made an impact on him as he went through into the high school," Goodall said. "So, congratulations."

Baker Prairie Middle School Principal Jennifer Turner also offered some words of praise about Purdy.

"What I know about Dave is that he cares deeply, and his students know that," Turner said. "He looks beyond just teaching eighth-graders. He looks beyond getting them ready for high school and beyond, and takes that job really seriously. He does chess club, he does yearbook, he does many things and a lot of it on his own time. He takes students to chess tournaments.

"I think you are very deserving of the award," Turner continued. "Your colleagues feel the same way. So, I'm proud that you received it, and thank you for the difference that you make every day in the lives of the students you have and for all of us."

Purdy received a plaque and a gift basket from local businesses in recognition of his efforts. Local sponsors of the CARE Award include Canby Kiwanis, State Farm Insurance-Matt Olsen, Columbia Bank, DirectLink, The Wild Hare, Backstop Bar & Grill, Rice Time, The Human Bean, Cutsforth Marketplace, Gwynn's Coffeehouse, Puddin' River Chocolates and Team Spirit.

To nominate someone who you believe is deserving of the CARE Award, nomination forms can be found on the district's website at

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