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Jodee Worthington – Nebo View Elementary

Mrs. Worthington teaches the 2nd grade at Nebo View Elementary. She has a profound love for the children she teaches, as we have seen for the past two years. Mrs. Worthington taught two of our sons in consecutive years and our younger son struggled. When he came into Mrs. Worthington’s class, he was reading at a pre-kindergarten level, even though he was beginning the 2nd grade. Early on, my wife met with Mrs. Worthington, expressing concerns with his reading skills.

Mrs. Worthington set to work on helping our son improve. She kept us informed weekly through email and phone calls of his progress and his setbacks. She enrolled him in many of the extra one-on-one help classes provided at the school and worked with him one-on-one herself. She was always considerate of his feelings and never made him feel as if he didn’t measure up. When he did particularly good on a test, she let him announce it to the entire class and had class celebrations for his achievements. I know for a fact that my son is not the only student Mrs. Worthington did this for. In so doing, the entire class was cheering on each other and encouraging each other to succeed.

By the end of the school year, my son was reading at grade level, having improved over three grade levels in one school year. She rejoiced with us at the end of the year and told how sad she was that our son was moving on to third grade. During the summer, because we live in such a small community, we would see Mrs. Worthington occasionally and she always asked how both of our sons were doing, but always mentioned that our youngest son held a special place in her heart.

As the school year began this year, our son has struggled again, and seems to be falling backward. My wife again sought out Mrs. Worthington for advice–even though my son is no longer her student. Mrs. Worthington didn’t give advice. Rather, she said, “I will take care of this,” and proceeded to work with us, the principal and his 3rd grade teacher to get him the help he needed to maintain all of the progress he achieved last year. All this, even though our son is no longer her student and technically no longer her concern. Mrs. Worthington has made clear to us, that once you are her student, you will always be her student.

Mrs. Worthington deserves all the recognition we can give her for her hard work with not only our sons, but countless others.

–Ryan Peters