Saturday, May 14, 2011


Today, Mary Ann Binford Elemetary School dedicated the gymnasium in honor of our coach, Janice Saavedra, who taught for 23 years.

The man in the front is Gary Atwood, the first principal of the school and the man who hired Janice (and me). The gym was packed with family, friends and colleagues, past and present. Everyone was very emotional.

Here is the poem that tells you all about Janice.....

To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded. ---Ralph Waldo Emerson
Janice dedicated her career to Mary Ann Binford Elementary and its community. She was well respected by peers and parents and loved by her students. She lost her long battle with cancer in July 2010. Janice began her career as a fifth grade teacher. She became the physical education teacher a couple of years later. She dedicated 23 years of her career to Mary Ann Binford Elementary.

This plaque is hanging in the gym also.

Janice's gift of teaching was evident by the students' enthusiasm to attend her PE classes. She started the Play Day year-end outdoor celebration, which has become a much anticipated end of the year event. In addition, she implemented the annual Fun Run for 22 years to help promote fitness. This event now bears her name.

This is painted above the door, outside the gym.

Janice was an amazing school leader. She served on many school committees, providing a respected leadership for the staff. She was also ready to help staff members. In addition, she was welcoming to new teachers and made them feel at home. She was instrumental in implementing the Conflict Mediation Program, which is the longest standing conflict mediation program in the state. She put countless hours of work into the program to ensure a safe and peaceful environment at Mary Ann Binford. Janice also was crucial in organizing the after-school program at Mary Ann Binford, providing both academic support and sports programs for students.

Deborahrose was amazing today. I was crying, but she was totally composed. Janice and Deborahrose had an amazing relationship and I am blessed to have known them both.

After the dedication, we met at Holy Rosery and got to eat and laugh and talk about old times. Here are the four cakes in her honor....

Janice had this saying on a poster in her office.

It was a wonderful tribute to Janice. I still miss her a lot, but I know she is keeping those angles busy and organized and of course, she will be attending every Dallas Cowboy Game!


stART said...

A fitting and thoughtful tribute - I'm sure she is greatly touched and will continue to watch over her school community.

Connie said...

What an inspiration to children and adults alike! How wonderful to honor her like this.