Joanna Begin, Mathematics Teacher at AHS reported the event in this way:
Sue Briggs or "Briggsie," has been a Special Education teacher for 25 years. Over these years, she has worked with countless families and students as a Special Education Liaison (and sometimes math teacher). Three of these former students, Austin Styffe, Matt McClellan, and Rebecca Harris, nominated her for this award because of her dedication to her craft. It is her quiet, constant encouragement that she gives every student, parent, and faculty member that makes her unforgettable.
Since they posted the news to Facebook, Ms. Briggs has been contacted by many more former students that all shared much the same experience. As one indicated,"When I was at my lowest, in the darkness it was Briggsie's voice that said, I know you can do this, you are more than this moment, I believe in you."
The Paul Harris Fellow Awards have been given out by each chapter of the Rotary Club since 1957. Paul Harris was the founder of the Rotary Club, and these recognitions have been awarded to more than 1.3 million individuals worldwide. Each individual has shown that they are prepared to go that extra mile in support of people in need. It is an emphatic acknowledgement of the appreciation shown for tangible and significant assistance given for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among people of the world. These awards have been presented to many outstanding leaders in the community, as well as to “ordinary people doing extraordinary things“.
Ms. Briggs' life’s work is to help cultivate well-rounded young people who can make a difference in the world around them. She loves watching her students grow over their four years in high school from shy freshmen to confident seniors. Her students know they have in her a teacher who will care for them and make them feel safe and loved. Outside of school, Ms. Briggs enjoys being with family and friends and tending to her garden or reading her favorite book.
Rebecca Harris, Matt McClellan, and Austin Styffe together with Sue Briggs.