Trost First-Grade Teachers Honored with November CARE Award

Canby School District leaders joined Trost Elementary School staff and students at recess to surprise the first-grade teaching team with the November Canby Area Recognition of Excellence, or CARE, Award.

The members of the team are Katarina Veliz, Berenice Santiago, and Magdalena Rodriguez.

Canby Kiwanis established the CARE Award to provide opportunities like this to recognize 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 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 single district staff member with the award each month. But in a rare occurrence, November’s award went to a group of three classroom teachers. The nomination for the trio highlighted the group’s ability to collaborate.

Katarina Veliz, Berenice Santiago, and Magdalena Rodriguez were honored at last month’s Canby School Board meeting.

“I believe that this first-grade team deserves recognition for their team’s collaboration, flexibility, dedication and commitment to improve their instruction in order to best serve their students,” the nomination said.

“Their collaboration ranges from sharing their ideas during weekly Collaborative Team meetings to establishing a plan to evenly distribute the planning workload.”

The three face unique challenges as teachers at Canby’s dual language immersion magnet school, where instruction takes place in both English and Spanish. As opposed to neighborhood elementary schools, families choose to send their children to Trost starting in kindergarten and are admitted on a lottery basis.

Students continue to receive instruction in both languages throughout middle and high school, and many of them go on to earn the Seal of Biliteracy upon graduation. To find out more about the dual language immersion program, visit the district’s program web page.

As this month’s winners of the CARE Award, Veliz, Santiago, and Rodriguez were invited to the monthly school board meeting and honored there. They received a plaque and gift basket from local businesses in recognition of their work.

December’s CARE Award was given to retiring Baker Prairie Principal Jennifer Turner.

The major sponsors include Canby Kiwanis and Columbia Bank; and other local sponsors include Wayward Sandwiches, Swan Island Dahlias, Wild Hare Saloon, Book Nook, Rice Time Canby, Gwynn’s Coffeehouse, Backstop Bar & Grill, DirectLink, Puddin’ River Chocolates, Odd Moe’s Pizza, Cutsforth’s Market and Matt Olsen Insurance.

Going forward, the CARE Award will rotate schools each month, with December’s award going to retiring Baker Prairie Principal Jennifer Turner.

“Congratulations, and thank you for your tireless efforts on behalf of your staff and students in Canby School District,” the district’s December 12 announcement read.

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