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can believe the spunk and energy that lady has, said Nose Creek principal John Murphy. remember talking to one of the staff here and we were complaining one day about the (snowy, cold) weather and as we were talking I looked out the window and saw her blue Tracker pull up outside. She got out and walked up to the school. That a life lesson right there. 95, introduces herself with her late husband name as Mrs. Jim Dandy. young for her age, with a spring in her step, a sparkle in her eye and fun loving mischief in her smile. Only her shock of curly white hair and hearing aids in both ears give away that she might be somewhere north of 80.

She drives her small SUV 15 minutes each way to the school three days a week and also volunteers weekly at the Airdrie Health Centre and Bethany Care Centre.

am well and I just want to do something useful, Dandy said when asked why she volunteers. you are well what are you going to do? I want to be with people and help out as much as I can. spends Tuesday mornings with Mrs. Proud Grade 1 class, Wednesdays in the art room and Friday mornings with Mrs. Graham Grade 3 class.

She reads and talks to the children, but considers her real purpose to help the teachers so they can get on with teaching and not get bogged down with what she calls tasks. want to give the teachers more time with the students, she said. of doing the stuff they have to do like mark papers and prepare things for lessons, I can do those things for them. Creek principal John Murphy cannot say enough about how much Dandy does for the students and staff at the school.

children just gravitate to her, he said. are overwhelmed because the possibilities of the stories here are endless. both Murphy and assistant principal Diane Sherley agree her biggest value is to the teachers.

impact she has on our staff is unbelievable, said Sherley. perspective on life is so inspiring. simply wants to help.

I see in her is service to others, Murphy said. not her for any other reason than to help others. whose late husband James was a Major with the Lincoln and Welland Regiment, wounded in action in Holland in January 1945, and a businessman before becoming a teacher at age 55, also saw her daughter and two grandchildren become teachers.

A nurse by trade she served four years in a Canadian Army hospital in England during World War II Dandy has a lot of respect for teachers. She began volunteering in schools more than a decade ago in her native Ontario after attending a 100th birthday party and hearing one of the elderly guests disparage the teaching profession.

old lady called teachers lazy and stupid, she said. got angry with her and decided to start volunteering in schools. moved to Airdrie at the urging of her daughter two years ago and as soon as she was settled and got her Alberta driver licence, went to Nose Creek to volunteer.

are very lucky to have her, said Murphy. not only going to affect us today, but she be with us forever. We all be telling Elsie stories for the rest of our lives.
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