It is with great sadness and also with joyful memories, that we mourn the loss of our teacher, friend, and mentor, Elaine Jaques.

Elaine passed away August 7th, after a long battle with cancer. Elaine will be missed by all of us. Her contributions to The Children's School for the past 5 years are too numerous to count.

Elaine was known for creating rituals for our children. An especially sweet memory is how she helped Joseph transition as his mother was leaving him. She would walk him up the hall toward a special treat, crackers. Maybe this sounds like a simple thing, but it is the kind of intuitive action that eased the day for both child and mother. Elaine knew and could creatively respond to the needs of those children in her care.

In safety preparedness, Elaine wanted to ease the potential trauma for students, so she started the ritual of going camping. After any fire drill, Elaine would spread a blanket, turn on a lantern, give the children each a marshmallow, and lead them in camp songs. This became a fun activity for the children and if ever there was a crisis or power outage, the kids would know what to do. Brilliant!

Science projects were a favorite for Elaine, and she helped the children do gardening activities, as well as keeping a science journal. She organized our library, to the great delight of all the teachers and staff. Elaine made board games for our activities. She made a safety board game, one for the Heifer Project, which helped bring these things to life for the children.

Elaine was in charge of teacher training and development. She was a mentor and inspiration to the new teachers and even to experienced teachers. She helped us define our own goals as teachers, and to collectively vision a path of growth for our school.

During Elaine's long illness, she remained enthusiastic and dedicated to her role at The Children's School. Elaine loved our children, and wanted to remain with them for as long as possible. Toward the end of her illness, Elaine was still busy planning her actvities for the coming year. Elaine's two loves in her life were her passion for teaching and her strong love and connection with her family. She was extraordinarily proud of her children, Carolyn, Owen, and Sheena, and happily (and frequently) shared photographs and stories of her grandson, Brendan. She was surrounded by love and gave that love freely. We, and especially the children in her care, were the recipients of her creativity, her intelligence, her joyfull personality, and her authentic love of others. We all miss her so dearly. We have been touched by her presence and we are all better for having known her.

We will all remember Elaine at her memorial service, on August 18th, 3pm at the University Congregational United Church of Christ. All are welcome, especially children. Contributions in Elaine's memory can be made to:

The Children's School


UCUCC Seabeck Family Camp (Contributions to this program can be made to UCUCC with SEABECK/Elaine Jaques - in the memo line) Send to: 4515 16th Ave. NE, Seattle, WA 98105

1 comment:

Ann Adam said...

Thank you so much for the lovely tribute to Elaine. She was such a wonderful person. I didn't get the chance to interact with her as much as the teachers, children and parents, being the off sight bookkeeper for the school, but every time that our paths crossed I always enjoyed it. I'll miss Elaine as I am sure everybody who has known her will too.