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Volunteer makes a significant difference in the school and with the students

Jenny Lindsay was recently presented with the Lorrie Hopf Award of Excellence that recognizes a volunteer who has made a significant difference
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Jenny Lindsay hold the award she was recently given for her volunteer work. Barbara Geernaert for

Her smile lights up the halls at James McQueen Public School in Fergus.

Jenny Lindsay was recently presented with the Lorrie Hopf Award of Excellence, an award recognizes a volunteer who has made a significant difference in the lives of children during the 2018-19 school year.

“I really don’t need the recognition,” Lindsay says. “I just love being in the school and I love being there for the kids, to experience what they are experiencing.”

Lindsay helps where she can, from school trips, the library, nutrition break and she especially enjoys the opportunity to volunteer in her son Dominic’s Grade 1 classroom.

“He loves that I’m there and when he hears about an upcoming school trip, he gets so excited because he knows I’ll be there,” she says.

Lindsay grew up in Belwood and moved to Fergus 11 years ago.

"James McQueen is such a great school. Even when I was in school, I heard so much about it. And now that my son has been there, It’s true. It really is the best school,” she says.

“My husband’s cousins used to go to that school and some of the teachers they had are still there today. So, it’s really special to keep this in the family.”

James McQueen is a mid-sized school located in an older section of Fergus. It was the first school in town and was named after the first school headmaster.

The school is known for its warm and inviting atmosphere. The building takes up most of an entire block in town.

Classes are from JK to Grade 3 in the English program and from JK to Grade 2 in the French Immersion program.

At the end of the Grade 2, French Immersion students go to J.D. Hogarth Public School and at the end of Grade 3, English students go to John Black Public School.

Lindsay also has a daycare in her home where she provides care before and after school.

“I just love kids. Ever since I was little, I wanted to be a teacher so having the daycare and helping out at the school is really fulfilling,” she says.

The Lorrie Hopf Award of Excellence recognizes a volunteer every year.

The award is named after Lorrie Hopf, who was a school administrator for over 36 years and spent many years at James McQueen Public School. She was an avid volunteer and was ready to help out wherever she could.

“She’s retired now but she was always volunteering,” Lindsay says. “It’s so nice because I do know her personally and she was so happy to hear that I received the award.”

“I was really surprised when I received it. The principle said I had to attend a volunteer tea but I had to help out during the nutrition break at the school.”

The principal, Andrew Creighton, was adamant that Lindsay attend and now she knows why as he called her name and presented her with the award.

“She is a valuable volunteer in our library and classrooms,” Creighton said. “And she always presents herself with a smile on her face.”

For Lindsay, it was an honour.

“I could go on forever about the staff at the school and when you are there, you feel like you are one of the staff members as soon as you walk in. Everyone is so welcoming and friendly,” she said.

In the future, Lindsay hopes to continue volunteering within the school system in Fergus.

“The kids are so great. It makes me love what I do,” she said.

“I hope to continue volunteering and the school knows that whenever they need me, I’m there.”