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Baker Prairie Middle School Instructional Assistant Sheila Brownell is December's CARE Award winner

As has become his habit, Canby Schools Superintendent Trip Goodall again surprised the month's Canby Area Recognition of Excellence Award winner during school hours.

This time, his visit took him to Baker Prairie Middle School, where Sheila Brownell worked as an instructional assistant.

"She works tirelessly for the betterment of the special education middle school students at BPMS," one of the nominations reads.

Goodall and Baker Prairie Principal Jennifer Turner barged into a middle school classroom full of kids, greeted them and Goodall explained the reason for the award.

Every month, Canby Kiwanis and Canby School District honor a district staff member like Brownell 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.

In this case, Brownell was nominated by multiple peers.

"What's really cool about this is you weren't nominated by just one person; you were nominated, I think, by four people," Goodall said during the surprise. "We've never had that happen ever since I've been here in five years, which is remarkable to think that all of your colleagues think so highly of you and your work.

"So, on behalf of the district and Kiwanis, thank you so much for the work that you do," he said.

COURTESY PHOTO: CSD - Sheila Brownell, December's CARE Award winner, receives a plaque at the December school board meeting.

Following the surprise during the week, Brownell was also honored at the monthly school board meeting on Thursday, Dec. 19.

Brownell's award came just in time, as she was set to retire at the end of that week, Dec. 20, according to the school district.

At the meeting, as the December recipient of Kiwanis's and the district's CARE Award, Brownell 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.

Kristen Wohlers
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