Community

Education remains elementary for Kiwanis 'Everyday Hero'

“Everyday Hero” award winner Connie Goff, center, is flanked by SJI Kiwanis Club’s Stephanie O’Day, left, and Nancy Fusare, right.   - Scott Rasmussen
“Everyday Hero” award winner Connie Goff, center, is flanked by SJI Kiwanis Club’s Stephanie O’Day, left, and Nancy Fusare, right.
— image credit: Scott Rasmussen

Longtime educator Connie Goff has a passion for language, reading and the written word.

But could it be that she doesn't quite get the meaning of the word "retirement?"

Even after 50 years in the teaching profession, Goff is still going strong, spending up to 40 hours a week helping children learn how to read at Friday Harbor Elementary School. The only difference now is that for Goff, it's no longer a job. She volunteers. Why?

"Because it's just so important to get off to a good start in school," she said. "And reading is just so important."'Hero' medal

It's equally important for San Juan Island Kiwanis Club to recognize the contributions of extraordinary volunteers. That's why Kiwanis selected Goff for its "Everyday Hero" award, and presented her with the honor June 12 at a school assembly. In addition to a medallion and framed plaque, the award comes with dinner for two at Vinny's Ristorante.

Following a decades-long career teaching in the Edmonds area, Goff and her husband, Richard, relocated several years ago to San Juan Island, where they purchased property three decades earlier. She taught for five years at Friday Harbor Elementary, as an employee, before retiring from the profession, but certainly not from the classroom. The gift of learning remains a wonder to behold, she said.

"Each child is like a little puzzle," Goff said. "You try to figure out their needs and try to help them grow. To see them grow is just amazing."

 

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