I am nominating a person who is a hero in my eyes. Robert “Bob” Nelson is a speech teacher for the Davis School District and works with the deaf and hard of hearing children. He came into my daughter Katie’s life when she transferred from the Utah School of the Deaf and Blind to her neighborhood elementary school when she was in first grade. It was a scary change to go from the sheltered deaf school to being around hearing peers, but Bob had confidence in Katie’s abilities and immediately took her under his wing. Bob has been a crucial part of Katie’s life ever since. She is now in 8th grade at West Point Junior High and has flourished thanks to Bob’s constant tutoring and support. She is on or above grade level in honors classes, which is an amazing feat for a deaf child.
Three and a half years ago, Katie went through a very difficult time. She was in the hospital with newly diagnosed Type I diabetes at the same time the paperwork for her parents’ divorce was going through the court system. Katie had to change schools at the time and lost Bob for one year. I could immediately tell the difference in her life without him. She needed him and I made sure she got him back as her teacher for the following year. He was not only a teacher, but became a grandfather figure to Katie during this hard time. He was a support she could confide in and he could reach her when no one else could. To this day, when Katie feels isolated and alone due to her deafness and her diabetes, she always knows she will end the day in Bob’s class and looks forward to that. I truly believe she could not have emotionally survived the past few difficult years without Bob in her life.
Bob was scheduled to retire last year but stuck around one more year. He told me it was for Katie because he wanted to see her continue to progress. Bob has officially announced that he is retiring this year, so Katie and I both hope you will honor him with the teacher feature award. He is completely deserving of the recognition and is a true hero in the lives of his students. We love him!