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BAK’D Apple Award

By Jennifer Fogarty, communications content manager
Faculty and staff were honored with this annual award.
The 2023 BAK’D Apple Award was presented to two shining stars at the all-school faculty and staff meeting in June. Congratulations to Administrative Assistant and Receptionist Connie Cañez and Lower School Educator Lisa Bennet.

Connie Cañez
All who enter the Jacobs Family Library/administration building are greeted by Connie’s smiling face and helpful attitude. Since she joined LJCDS in 2012, Connie has provided a warm welcome and connection with students, parents, guardians, faculty, staff and visitors.

“Connie’s exceptional warmth and dedication to our community shine through as she goes above and beyond with her proactive involvement and willingness to take on additional responsibilities,” explains Director of Libraries Rafa Eaton. “Her actions reflect a deep commitment to the school’s success, fostering a strong sense of belonging and support for all. Connie has a genuine heart and truly embodies the spirit of our school. She plays an integral role in maintaining its positive and inclusive environment.”

Lisa Bennet
Lisa has taught third grade at LJCDS since 2004. After teaching kindergarten and first grade for 14 years in Las Vegas, she joined LJCDS in 2002 as the director of admission. Besides teaching, Lisa has stepped up to take on other roles, including team leader, founding member of the DEI committee, teacher representative on the Lower School admissions committee and playground committee member.

“Lisa shows up each day with heart, creativity and a passion for learning that inspires her class,” shares Head of Lower School Briony Chown. “She is an educator who helps children step into a world of thinking, wonderment and excitement about learning. Her classroom is where fun and higher-order thinking are interwoven so children’s minds, hearts and souls flourish. Lisa supports each child with care and compassion. She is a strong advocate for all children and sees each child’s potential—and helps them to see it, too.” 

BAK’D Apple Award
The BAK’D Apple Award was established by the Rubenson family in 1997 to honor a faculty or staff member who makes exceptional contributions to students’ total personal growth and extends themself on a personal level to be a friend and mentor to students. The winner should also have such a passion for their expertise that students are inspired to share that enthusiasm. BAK’D is a combination of the first letters of each member of the Rubenson family’s name (Ben ’95, Aaron ’92, Kathie and David), and “apple” refers to the apple orchard at their home in Julian, where they have invited faculty to join them to harvest apples over the years.

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