Mrs. Barbara W., a long time teacher for the Cleveland Hill Schools District, deserves your Best of US Educator award!
The nightmare. The phone call that says "your sister's been in an accident. You need to come now!" Immediately, worlds crumble and lives are forever changed. Her severe injuries necessitated amputation of both legs. Years in the hospital go by and the rehabilitation continues. In the summer of 2007, we were blessed with our fourth child. "There is a problem with your baby!" they tell us in the delivery room. Our hospital visits increase. We struggle to process all the information. Birth defect, blind. It is during this dark time that we first met Mrs. W.
In 2007, Mrs. W. was our son's kindergarten teacher. When we met, we were completely undone. Our son, was having anxiety issues. "What if" there is a storm? Our baby needed major surgery.
We all have our "stuff," however it is regular everyday individuals like Mrs. W. who step in to make America great. I wish all children in America could start school with the caliber of teacher that Mrs. W. represents. She helped make our dark and difficult times better and helped us get our son the support he needed to deal with his anxiety. Mrs. W. was a true encouragement for me when we were given the news that our baby was blind. She called me from home, listened to me talk and cry. When we needed to apply for reduced rate lunches she helped out in a way that gave us dignity. She gave our son extra love at school when we were away at various hospitals. She was helpful with resources and disabilities knowledge. Mrs. W. helped him thrive emotionally and academically.
In 2009-2010 our middle daughter was privileged to have Mrs. W. as her kindergarten teacher. She loved being in her class! This year, Mrs. W. helped inspire confidence in her by having her visit her class to read.
Mrs. W. raises the bar! She is always engaging and supportive! Mrs. W.'s devotion is evident both inside and outside the classroom. She is always available for any parents' concerns. She's active in PTSA, school dances, fundraisers, and school board meetings. She also serves at church as an assisting minister, a member of the music and worship committee and has served as a Sunday school teacher.
Mrs. W. is now our other daughter’s kindergarten teacher. We owe a debt of gratitude to Mrs. W. for her role with our daughter’s Special Education Plans. Mrs. W. has played a huge role is getting us the best services for our daughter. Mid-year Mrs. W. got an oversized key board to help her at the computer. The growth we have seen since our daughter started in Mrs. W.’s kindergarten class is amazing!
Each of us have an influencing circle that we will be held accountable for, and we are so blessed to have Mrs. W. in our influencing circle. She has made a big difference in my entire family.