Teacher’s efforts earn recognition

A music teacher’s dedication to her students and her fellow colleagues was rewarded with more than $1,500 in school supplies.

Jane Saunders

Jane Saunders

A music teacher’s dedication to her students and her fellow colleagues was rewarded with more than $1,500 in school supplies.

Jane Saunders, of Ladysmith’s Ecole Davis Road Elementary School, was one of 17 teachers across Canada to receive a surprise visit from the ‘A Day Made Better’ program earlier this month.

The Grand and Toy campaign, in its third year, awards exceptional teachers (kindergarten to Grade 8) who go the extra mile in the classroom.

Saunders, a Nanaimo resident, was surprised with the presentation at a special school assembly where Grand and Toy employees Ken Harasyn and Dana Way presented a large box full of creative school supplies, including a $500 ergonomic chair from Safco.

Way said the supplies are provided to offset costs that teachers might take on themselves so they can focus on the wonderful work they do.

“Statistically, they say most teachers spend about $500 of their own money per school year on supplies for their classroom,” Way said.

Saunders was nominated for the award by Darleen Michell, a former administrative assistant at the school. Her entry was selected from 47 nominations, a record number for the company.

In her nomination, Michell wrote that Saunders teaches young minds the importance and beauty of music, all the while making the learning experience fun.

When not teaching, Saunders is hard at work putting on presentations, Christmas concerts, teaching choir and organizing other performances at the school.

After the ceremony, a tearful Saunders said she felt honoured both by the award and the fortune of being in a career she enjoys every day.

“I’m overwhelmed,” said Saunders, who has taught at Ecole Davis for more than eight years. “We have a lovely camaraderie here in the staff and any one of us could have got this award really. I don’t know why they picked me.”