By Dave Handy, president of the Creston Valley Rotary Club
On Oct. 26, the Creston Valley Rotary Club (CVRC) announced that Danielle Sonntag has been awarded Paul Harris Fellow Recognition during a virtual assembly at Adam Robertson Elementary School (ARES), where Sonntag is a teacher on staff.
Principal Joanne Beddows surprised Sonntag with a last-minute invitation to come to the gymnasium, where she saw her parents and two familiar members of the Rotary Club waiting for her to make the presentation.
Special thanks to ARES and the school district for allowing CVRC to share this special presentation and recognition to Sonntag in front of her students, fellow teachers and parents.
Sonntag was first involved with Rotary as a recent high school graduate when she attended the one-week Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) camp held at Crawford Bay. RYLA is a training program for young people aged 18-25, designed to teach youth skills in leadership, organization and communication.
Sonntag embraced the experience and returned as a junior staff person to host and mentor youth, and then to organize and lead at mini-camps for younger students. It was following her RYLA experiences that Sonntag first embraced the Rotary motto of “Service Above Self,” which she demonstrates today in the way she works and serves.
Sonntag obtained her teaching degree and certificate from the University of Victoria through College of the Rockies in Cranbrook. During her training, she did a teaching practicum in Ireland, where she stayed with a family with Rotary connections.
Now Sonntag teaches at ARES in Creston, and has always sought to inspire and challenge her students to be better persons within the guidelines of the Four-Way Test of Rotary — of all the things we think, say or do; is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
Sonntag is delighted to share about the change in students’ attitudes as she applies these Rotary principles in her role as a school teacher and mentor. In recognition of her Rotary spirit and service, CVRC proudly announces that Sonntag receives Rotary’s “Paul Harris Fellow Award.”