Janey Lee, BA ’94, BEd ’95

Award-winning elementary school teacher, Janey Lee has made her mark in the classroom, in the playground and in the volunteer world.

Lee received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of British Columbia in 1994 and a Bachelor of Education in 1995. A kindergarten teacher at Thunderbird Elementary in Vancouver , Lee works with ESL students from diverse backgrounds to promote cultural exchange and peer learning. Worm farms, organic vegetable gardens and up-close investigations are the tools she uses to engage students as they learn to count, read and be socially responsible. In 2013, Lee was a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence.

Lee developed a community partnership with the Society Promoting Environmental Conservation (SPEC) to teach her students about food security. Together with a high school technical teacher and the entire student body, she built a school garden that became an outdoor classroom and a source of inspiration for math, science and language arts. Lee helped to establish a successful school breakfast program to ensure that students were adequately prepared for their days in the classroom. Media coverage of her inner city advocacy inspired private citizens to provide matching funding for the program. The funding has also allowed students to participate in the Backpack Food Program and bring food home to help their families.

A leader in the field of primary education, Lee developed a Kindergarten Phonological Awareness Program for Vancouver teachers, and was part of a collaborative effort to develop the BC Early Numeracy Project for the Ministry of Education. Lee’s community service includes being a mentor with the YWCA, being a member of the the Anti-Poverty Committee with the Vancouver Elementary School Teacher’s Association, serving on the board of CLICK (Contributing to Lives of Inner City Kids), and fundraising over $30,000 for a playground at Thunderbird Elementary by holding workshops for teachers over two summers. Every year, she also helps to coach Cross Country, Volleyball, Basketball and Track and Field at her school. In January 2013 Lee was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award in recognition of her significant and meaningful contributions to the community and teaching profession.