Mother, alias Mrs. Sanders, Catherine Blythe Sanders or Ms. Kay, was awarded the prestigious 2014 Frell Owl Award in December by the Cherokee Boys Club Board of Directors. She was honored for distinguished service to Cherokee children and families in honor of her 30-plus years as an educator in the BIA school systems, on our Qualla Boundary including Snowbird, Big Cove, Soco and Cherokee Central Day Schools. She also taught Native students in Oklahoma at Chilocco, Sequoyah and Pigeon.
What a wonderful gift for my 96 year old Mother! Mother, Wren and I, her legal guardians, offer our heartfelt thanks that she would receive this honor in her lifetime! Unfortunately, because of the bad winter weather and the threat from the flu epidemic, mother and I were unable to attend. She lives with me full-time in south Georgia where the weather is quite mild, although we both miss “home”!
She would like to thank the voting committee and all her former students she taught as well as staff members she worked with who all share in this great honor. “Mrs. Sanders” touched and shaped many lives and not only bestowed knowledge thru education but built character in her students. She demanded the “best” from her students and emphasized higher education to be the best we could be. As all remember, she was a strict disciplinarian, and did not tolerate bad behavior. She taught honor and pride in our Cherokee heritage. I am very proud to have been one of her former students from the old days at Big Cove Day School. Mrs. Sanders is one of our most treasured elders and is most appreciative of this great honor.
Faren Sanders Crews
EBCI tribal member, Georgia