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Mrs. Darlynn Menlove – Canyon Elementary

Dear Selection Committee,

Mrs. Menlove always taught us with love and compassion.

My name is Shalee Hiskey, and I’m in 8th grade. I’m writing this about a teacher I had in kindergarten. She is still teaching and she is amazing! Her name is Mrs. Menlove! Actually, her full name is Darlynn Menlove. But when I was a little girl she was known as Mrs. Menlove! Mrs. Menlove had a huge impact on my life!

You hear kids talking about how they where sooo relieved to leave kindergarten because their teacher was mean and did time-outs or some stupid reason like that. Well, that’s not what happened with me. Mrs. Menlove was so nice to her kids.

My twin brother, Hunter, really didn’t want to go to school. He always wanted to stay at home. Even when we went to Disneyland, he asked to go home after the first day. I remember my mom being worried about him going to school and wanting to stay.

We loved kindergarten and Mrs. Menlove made a huge difference in our lives. Mrs. Menlove would play learning games with us and before kindergarten started we were able to go meet her! When Hunter and I met her, she took our pictures. She put them on her castle with the other girls and boys. She told us we were special and that we where princes and princesses. I was so excited to be a princess! Anyway, she was so creative with us and she would do fun little things.

On Halloween that year she left the classroom and said she’d be right back and to be good. We all agreed to be good and continued playing with our blocks and toys. She came back dressed as a witch! I looked at her for a moment and decided it was really Mrs. Menlove and not a witch at all. Even though I knew it was her doesn’t mean the other kids did. They asked what she had done with our teacher and she said in a crackly voice that she had stuffed her in a closet and took everything of hers! She told us she had some potions for us, and some dinosaur eggs! The dinosaur eggs where no-bake cookies. I recognized them from when my older sister made them on Sundays. I told her that they weren’t really dinosaur eggs because my sister made those cookies for us on Sunday! She smiled her angelic smile and I knew for sure that was my teacher! No one could smile as angelically as her! I smiled back and the “witch” left. Mrs. Menlove came back into the classroom huffing and puffing. We asked her if she was alright and she said yes! After a while she asked us to raise our hands if we knew that witch was her! Surprisingly other kids raised their hands besides me! I guessed it was because of her smile that they guessed! The other kids where sheepish to admit that they where fooled!

Another time we had a teddy bear day, and all of us brought our teddy bears! We where going to leave them in the classroom that entire night and they where going to have a sleep over! It might seem silly to us now, but then we where all excited! Everyone brought tons of teddy bears! Little ones, tall ones, fat ones, small ones! There where gangly ones and sturdy ones. There where soft ones and ratty ones! Yeah, there where a lot! Anyway, so we played with those teddy bears all day long! And when class came to an end we left them lined up by the wall. The next day when we went to school our teddy bears where in different positions! Some were playing house! Some where reading or playing with blocks! I remember mine was painting! I went to go paint with my bear and saw that there were blotches of paint on the paper! I thought it was so fun!

When it comes to Christmas Mrs. Menlove was really excited! We sang Christmas carols every day! And we went and played out in the snow and it was a blast! I remember once while we where playing with blocks and toys, Mrs. Menlove told us that her morning class had seen two eyes in the window watching them! We believed that it was an elf! So the whole rest of the day we looked out the window looking for the elf to appear! And we did see eyes! But they disappeared quickly and we all ran to the window!

We where so excited that we saw an elf! We went outside and built huge snowmen! A mom and a dad and maybe we even built a kid! But we took a picture of the whole class with our snowmen that we built! Christmas was one of my favorite times of the year with Mrs. Menlove! We had a lot of fun that Christmas! We built chains to keep track of how many days until Christmas and we played fun games and made snowflakes! It was fun!

Whenever we where playing games she would encourage us if we failed at something! She would always ring this bell when it was time to come in from recess! And whoever asked first would be able to ring the bell to call the class in! We thought it was the coolest thing in the world! We would come home with paintings and activities that we did that day!

She used to have a mouse as a pet at the school. She never let it out and we never tried. We would just watch it in its little cage. We would never abuse it or anything. We just watched it. She was a great teacher, I’m pretty sure she doesn’t have that mouse anymore though! She taught us to be kind to each other and never to touch something that isn’t yours. That’s why we never touched the mouse’s cage. It simply wasn’t ours!

We used to have free-time and we would go play with the toys and the blocks and paints. There was this plastic kitchen set and I would always play house! I remember playing with some of these boys and I guess I was a little bossy because I would tell them each who they where! And of course, I was always the mom! I remember calling my “husband” honey! And I would always say something like, “Honey, would you please come here for a moment.” I remember very clearly doing that!

Mrs. Menlove always taught us with love and compassion. She is so kind. She watched us, with no doubt, enjoyment. Mrs. Menlove is like another mother to me! I love her! When I was in Kindergarten, she always made sure everything was alright and she had a reading spot that we would go read books at and she had fun things for us to play with! I miss her a ton! Actually, I’m glad other little kids are able to enjoy her fun and out-going mood! She is a smart, kind, intelligent, wonderful, sweet, loving, amazing, fun, out-going, spectacular person! I love her so much! I think she is such a wonderful person! And I think she would be good for this award! I love you Mrs. Menlove!

Love, Shalee Hiskey