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Shanae Richardson – Jackling Elementary School

Teacher Feature,

Miss Shanae Richardson is the Reading Specialist at Jackling Elementary School in Granite District. As Reading Specialist, she works with children in the early grades, kindergarten through third grades struggling with their reading skills. Miss Richardson is loved by many of the parents, her students, and her fellow teachers. Her great kindness, her professional abilities to lift children’s self esteem while she lifts their skills with reading and writing, and her desire to “make a difference” with each individual student are some of the reasons she is a unforgettable and a truly great teacher. Miss Richardson is beyond unique in multiple ways.

I first met Miss Richardson in an interview for a reading position. Miss Richardson was the team leader and literacy leader for the school. I hope I would not embarrass her by mentioning that Miss Richardson was born with facial anomalies that are quite obvious. I am embarrassed to say that I wondered if children might be bothered by them. Children are naturally drawn to physically beautiful people. The furor in the British Media over a children’s programming host who was born without an arm is an example of how petty we adults are. We underestimate the ability of children to see into the heart of a truly great person. In my three years of working with Miss Richardson, I never saw a child who was not drawn to Miss Richardson’s profound and beautiful abilities to teach, understand, and go beyond every mark in her profession. I understand she also heads the children’s organization of her church. Children are drawn to her true beauty and incredible kindness and love for them. She has taught many children, but we adults might learn from the children by recognizing that a great heart and love of children are the most poignant qualities in a truly great teacher.

Miss Richardson has never treated herself as a person with a disability. I once saw a beautiful Utah woman, born without both arms. She profoundly said “I wonder what each of us would look like, if everyone’s weakness was as obvious as mine”. Miss Richardson’s strength, beauty of soul, and love for the children she works with are all anyone who truly knows her ever sees. Thank you Miss Richardson.

–Shari Weber
Reading Teacher at Arcadia Elementary
Mother of Nine