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Diann Bowles – Orchard Elementary School

I would like to nominate Ms. Diann Bowles for the Teacher Feature award. She is a very kind and warm hearted kindergarten teacher at Orchard Elementary School. She has become a ray of sunshine to my young son, Aiden. Ms. Bowles has taken the time to make sure he is a successful and happy student, especially during a very difficult time for our family.

When my mother passed away I struggled to find a way to soothe my young son’s heart. He didn’t want to talk about it, and would frequently tell me not to tell him things. I worried about how to adequately explain to him what had happened, and what he would be experiencing. It was difficult not to know his understanding level – what he was thinking and what he was feeling. He struggled as the family gathered for the viewing and my heart ached. I was searching, praying for a way to comfort him.

And then, later in the evening, his teacher Ms. Bowles walked into the room and his face just lit up. He ran over to her and she tenderly took his hand and guided him to his grandmother. She gently laid her hand over my mother’s heart and then touched his heart. She spoke quietly to him, too quietly for me to hear. But I know the words on her lips were love. In that instant my son began to heal, began to understand. In that instant she became an angel to our family.

Many teachers love their students and strive to diligently teach their students all the scholarly requirements of the classroom. Ms. Bowles went beyond that. While she is remarkable teacher in her classroom, she also healed our hearts. She becomes a part of the lives of the children she teaches. I think the parents of her students are almost as anxious to talk to her as the students are to attend her class. I have been the recipient of her warming hugs several times.

It’s a special teacher, indeed, who takes interest in the lives of her students and their families, and dedicates time and effort to them outside of the classroom. The lessons taught in her classroom will always be complemented with the love and devotion felt outside of the classroom. We are so grateful to have Ms. Bowles in our lives!

–Jennifer Hicks