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Rebecca Akester – Mountain West Montessori Academy

I wish I could keep Ms. Rebecca as my son’s permanent teacher! I love her so much! My son was really excited to go to school like his older brothers but I never dreamed what a gem we would end up having. When school was just starting there were a couple times when anxiety would set in. One day I let him stay home, but realizing I couldn’t keep that up, I had to take him to the kindergarten room door while he was screaming. My heart melted when she reached out took him from me and held him so close, whispering in his ear it was okay. She just hugged him until he settled down. She told me he calmed quickly and jumped right into regular activities. As a mom, It’s so hard to leave your unsettled child because most can’t love your child like you do, but I came to understand quickly how deeply she loved each one of her little kindergartners and desired for them to feel safe in her presence. There were a few other days when she took him sobbing from me like the day he forgot his backpack and thought everyone would laugh at him, or when he was one of only a handful of kids dressed up on a dress-up day and felt dumb. She just always took care of his feelings and never belittled him for his fears or anxieties. I went to parent teacher conferences and she took time to show me all the amazing activities Chase was engaged in at school. She asked me what she could do to improve his learning- I appreciate so much her valuing me as a parent and not just the attitude that she’s the teacher and I need to comply with her desires. It’s been that way all year long, with reading, and his math skills. She told me how much her desire was to honor the child, to treat them each as a valued individual. She really does take time to listen to each one of them individually, which is no small task with 2 classes of kindergartners. She is often at the school long after school hours are over. Her car is one of the last to leave the parking lot. She just gives and gives, and I hope so much her cup is filled by all the little people whose lives she is touching forever because they have been so deeply loved and developed a love of learning from her. I would love to see Ms. Rebecca be chosen for this award. Thank you so much for your time and consideration, and for your means in honoring deserving teachers. You’re making a difference too!

–Jessica Sabin