Above: Service to Youth recipient Janet Carlson, an Elementary Gifted Intervention Specialist, is pictured with Sunrise Rotarians, school officials and colleagues. Right: The Westerville City Schools Gifted Team will be donating a copy of Patricia Polacco’s “The Mermaid’s Purse” to each elementary school library, in Carlson’s name.
Janet Carlson, an Elementary Gifted Intervention Specialist for the Westerville City School District, was surprised on December 18 when a group of Sunrise Rotarians visited Hanby Elementary School to present her with a Diane J. Conley Rotary Club of Westerville Sunrise Service to Youth award. She received a plaque from the club, along with cookies and a gift card donated by the Walmart Supercenter on Schrock Road. In addition, an American flag will be flown in her honor during Westerville’s Field of Heroes display. Carlson and other Service to Youth award winners will be recognized at a breakfast in May 2020.
Carlson’s nominator said she understands the socio-emotional, academic needs of the gifted population. She is always visible at school/community activities to demonstrate her support of youth, and she provides professional development activities for staff to meet the needs of gifted students. Carlson has served the Westerville City School District for 30 years. She is “always prepared, adaptable and creative, making for an outstanding gifted program.”
To honor Carlson’s many years of dedication and passion for creating vibrant and engaging learning experiences for so many students, the Gifted Team will be donating a copy of Patricia Polacco’s The Mermaid's Purse to each elementary school library in Janet’s name. The Mermaid's Tale tells the story of an avid reader named Stella who decides to share her books and love of reading with her neighbors, and through her efforts, ends up fostering a deep sense of community in her town. The Gifted Team wishes Janet all the best in her retirement and hopes that the children will enjoy The Mermaid’s Tale for many years to come.
Rotary Sunrise instituted Service to Youth awards 11 years ago to recognize exceptional school employees who have made a special contribution to youth; have served as a positive role model for young people; and have demonstrated service above and beyond the call of duty in performing their job responsibilities. The award is named in honor of Sunrise Rotarian Diane Conley, retired Chief of Academic Affairs for Westerville City Schools.