Evette Mendisabal was born and raised in New Zealand and moved to Utah when she married over 16 years ago. She attended University in New Zealand to become a teacher but her schooling did not transfer to the states, so she has been working on obtaining her teaching certificate while teaching. She has been an Aide for Granite school district since 2012 and has been very involved with Gearld Wright Elementary.
This year she happened to be a substitute for my daughter’s class when her teacher was not able to make it to teach. It just so happened that her current teacher had some difficulties and could not continue to teach for the rest of the year. During the transition phase when the school was unable to hire a teacher, Evette went the extra mile. In speaking with the assistant principal, Karly Chavez, we found out how much Evette was doing. As a substitute she was not allowed to get paid for more than part time work (4 days a week) but Evette was driven to help the kids in HER classroom. On the 5th day of each week even though should could not teach due to the part time work requirement, she continues to prepare class materials, attend meetings and preparing to help each of her student’s. She took ownership of a class that was not even officially her class. She helped the kids in this 3rd grade class as if it was her own. With the other teacher now gone, she continues to teach the class hoping she will be offered a position to return to the school next year to be the official teacher for the class.
Evette did not just go above and beyond for the school but she has gone above and beyond for my daughter. Addi has extreme anxiety and gets physically sick to her stomach when things change or tests come up. Early in the transition when there were different subs rotating through her class Addi’s grades started to suffer and she became more anxious about class each day. Once Evette took over she focused on Addi and helped her manage her anxiety and helped her bring her grades back up.
Today’s events are what calumniated in me looking for a way to recognize Evette’s efforts. SAGE testing starts this week and Addi was having anxiety about the testing. We had posted the following Facebook post
“We forgot about crazy hair day in Addi’s class today but her amazing teacher Evette Mendisabal fixed that quick! This is cup hair. Yes. Somewhere in that mess of hair is a cup. Hard to guess this happy girl couldn’t go to bed tonight cause she was so worried about not doing well on her standardized testing tomorrow. I have always hated them because I stress out so much that I don’t do well, which results in me feeling stupid. I know how she feels and I hate it. Standardized testing is incapable of reflecting how smart you are. Some people just don’t test well. That doesn’t mean they’re stupid. Oh how I wish anxiety wasn’t something she inherited from me.”
Evette saw the Facebook post and this morning she came by our house before school started to visit Addi. She told her that the test was a test for the teachers to make sure they had taught her everything she needed to learn. She told her not to worry and they would make sure she got something to eat and drink before. She told her that the test did not determine if she was smart or dumb. She was amazing. After Evette left Addi was much calmer and was ready to face the day knowing that she has an amazing teacher that knows and cares about her and would be there to help her succeed. I had a teacher when I was in 4th grade that made a huge difference because she cared enough to know who I was and took the time to care about me. I think Addi has found that teacher. Evette has been amazing!