March 11, 1976 – December 29, 2015
Jennifer died suddenly on December 29th, 2015 in her home. A vibrant young woman, she was only 39 years old. During her much too short life, her sparkling, caring personality touched so many lives. As an educator and union leader she worked tirelessly on behalf of others, but her greatest legacy will be her devotion to the cause of improving the working and learning conditions in Surrey schools. Born in Winnipeg on March 11, 1976, Jennifer moved with her family to Surrey as a young child. She graduated with honours from Semiahmoo Secondary and went on to earn her Bachelor of Arts degree at Simon Fraser University. From there she earned her Education certificate at UBC. She was hired by the Surrey School district where she taught at Crescent Park, Bear Creek, and Laronde Elementary schools. She served as Staff Representative in each school, and was elected as a Member-at-Large on the Surrey Teachers’ Association Executive. In 2010, Jennifer became a full time officer at the STA after she was elected as Second Vice President. In 2011, she became First Vice President, and since 2012 she has served as the STA President. While a classroom teacher, Jennifer worked to bring the latest teaching innovations and programs to her students, incorporating current technology in her lessons. Besides this, she was a constant advocate for the special needs students she taught and pursued courses which qualified her to be a Learning Support teacher. Students and teachers will remember the exuberance and joy that came from Ms. Wadge’s classroom.
When Jennifer began working full time for the STA, she was able to devote her efforts toward supporting members and advocating for improved learning conditions in our schools. She had a close working relationship with the Surrey School Board administrators, as well as the provincial wing of the teachers’ union, the BCTF. She was as concerned about the many individual teachers she helped in their time of difficulty as she was with the need for increased school funding and supports for special needs students. In her personal life, Jennifer had strong family ties. She leaves behind her mother, Connie Wadge, a retired Surrey teacher, and her father, John Wadge, teacher and recently retired as a Field Officer at the BCTF. He is also a past president of the STA. Jennifer has two sisters, Erin and Pamela, Pam’s husband Chris Carrier and their 2 year old son, Benjamin. Little Benji adored playing with his Auntie Jenny. There are no words to express how much she will be missed. A Celebration of Jennifer’s life will be held at 4:00 pm on Thursday, January 7, 2016 at Victory Memorial Park, 14831 – 28 Ave., Surrey, BC. In lieu of flowers, please send a donation to CoDevelopment Canada or a charity of your choice. Victory Memorial Park has an In Memoriam page should you wish to leave condolences.