Ann Dies honored as Educator of the Month by Chamber of Commerce
January 22, 2014
Santa Paula News
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula Times
Ann “Annie” Dies is the kind of teacher that does everything...literally, from helping to direct morning traffic at Thelma Bedell Elementary School to working night and day for her special education students.
Such dedication earned Dies the Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Month Award presented at the January Good Morning Santa Paula!
Chamber President John Chamberlain was the emcee for the monthly chamber breakfast meeting held at Garman’s Irish Pub in the historic Downtown.
Bedell School Principal Jeff Robinson said Dies is “One of our amazing teachers,” and teaches special education students.
Dies has been teaching in Santa Paula for 40 years with 27 of those years spent at Bedell where her efforts on behalf of her students and the school community are laudable.
“Annie is so dedicated to her students she picks them off the bus, takes them to breakfast, then teaches,” all subjects including history and art.
“Then they have lunch, physical education,” and once their school day is done Dies makes sure her students get back on the bus.
Robinson said Dies then returns to her classroom to do paperwork and plans for her class.
“She works,” he noted, “from sun up to sun down. And as her duty she chooses to be the car duty person...if you’ve ever been to Bedell,” the school, located in a residential neighborhood, has is a large circular driveway that can easily become a traffic jam.
But Robinson said Dies keeps the parents moving as they deliver and pickup their children.
In addition, “She reminds teaches of things,” arranges all birthday parties and special events and makes sure cards are circulated for signatures and sent to those who need the good wishes of their co-workers.
Dies also serves on the school District and Site Safety Committee, a position Robinson she has held, “Forever, ever since she came to Santa Paula,” is the Search and Rescue Coordinator and each year participates in the American Heart Association’s Jump for Your Heart and the American Cancer Society’s Daffodil Sales fundraisers.
All in all said Robinson Dies is the perfect example of a dedicated teacher.
“I was really very surprised,” to be selected said Dies. “It was very unexpected...I really didn’t think about anything except about my job.”
And her adopted hometown: “I love Santa Paula,” said Dies, a Maryland native who noted that “When I came to California I got a job in Santa Paula...and I’ve been here ever since.”
Dies career began at Portal Elementary School (which closed in 1989), then Barbara Webster Elementary School and then Thelma Bedell when Glen Deines was principal.
Said Dies, “I love Santa Paula and I love the children. That is why I do what I do...because the children are what are important to me.”