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Kathy Helmandollar – Hidden Hollow Elementary

Mrs. Helmandollar teaches fourth grade at Hidden Hollow Elementary School in Eagle Mountain, Utah. She is one amazing lady!! The day that my son was selected to be in her class will be a day that we look back at for the rest of his life. The first time we met Mrs. Helmandollar was Back to School night at the elementary. I knew that night that she was a special person, who had a love for life, teaching and art.

Some teachers take the summer break to unwind and spend time doing personal things. Not Mrs. Helmandollar, she explained to my son and I she had spent six weeks that summer in Southern Utah. The time she spent there was solely for learning hands on things that she planned to teach the entire class that year. She was so excited about the things she had learned and couldn’t wait to teach the students about the rocks she had studied. She even brought the students some of these rocks to keep. My son still has these rocks and probably always will.
My son has a learning disability. He has a difficult time with reading and writing since the middle part of second grade. Some students since that time have used this learning disability as a way to tease him and make him feel bad about himself. It was divine intervention that got my son is Mrs. Helmandollar’s class.

You see she has a son with learning disabilities identical to that of my sons. All he ever wanted to do growing up was play football for Boise State. Some students, teachers, and people who knew him said that would never happen, because he was too stupid, dumb and would never even graduate from high school. She saw a lot of her son in my son. Well her son is now grown. He graduated from high school and received a scholarship to play football for Boise State. He went on to play football for four years and received a college degree. She would always encourage my son and still does to this day. She instilled in my son that even though he had these learning disabilities that they would never stop him from succeeding in life. She would say to my son, don’t ever let anyone tell you are stupid and that you can’t do something, because you can. You can do anything in this world if you put your mind and heart in to it!!!! The time Mrs. Helmandollar spent with my son was over and above what was required. She did it out of love… Love for teaching, love for my son, and love to help the future generations succeed in life…. especially talented students with learning disabilities.

Her style of teaching is awesome! She has a love for art and finds a way to bring art into the classroom for teaching various subjects like math and science. Yet another reason my son loves her so much as he loves art too. The techniques she used to teach different subjects have stuck with my son since.

My son is now in the sixth grade. He talks about Mrs. Hellmandollar like she is his current teacher. For the past two years when I ask my son what he would like to give his current teacher for Christmas or Teacher Appreciation week he ALWAYS says “I want to give Mrs. Helamandollar….”!! I ask him about his current teacher and says “yeah, we can get them something too after we get Mrs. Helmandollars gift”.

I could write for hours about how amazing Mrs. Helmandollar is and tell different accounts and stories. Another amazing thing about her is she is not prideful. She is passionate about what she does and everyone around her can feel that passion, especially her students. If anyone deserves this award it would be Mrs. Helmandollar.

–Jenifer Aaron