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Linda Cullimore – North Park Elementary

Miss Cullimore has been influencing the lives of children for many years. She understands the necessity of teaching the Utah Standards and ensuring a quality education for all of the students she teaches. Yet, her most influential quality is in the way she treats her students and how they feel each day as she enters her classroom. My grandson has been only one of the students that Miss Cullimore has taught and cared for over her many years of teaching.
My grandson has some personal challenges in his life. These challenges are not readily evident to a casual observer. The experiences he has faced in his life have led him to suffer from anxiety and nervous habits. He is a master at avoidance behaviors. Yet even without knowing the severity of his emotional state, Miss Cullimore loved him and accepted him as an individual that mattered. She once stated to me that she had learned that when he started talking about one of his expert topics that she needed to listen. She had learned from listening that he did know what he was talking about and was often correct in his knowledge. She felt he had a lot to offer in classroom discussions. As for his avoidance behaviors, Miss Cullimore treated him with respect and never demeaned him. Her positive manner reflected in his attitude about school and life. He loved being in her class. He professes today that even though he has had some good teachers, Miss Cullimore beats them all. Because Miss Cullimore recognized and loved him, his avoidance behaviors were diminished. This also spilled over into his ability to cope with his emotional struggles. He respected Miss Cullimore and would work hard at school because he wanted to please her. Miss Cullimore has taught 4th grade for many years and her experience is appreciated. Her calm manner is inviting to students that face challenges. Challenges come in many forms and often a teacher is not aware of what struggles a student is facing in their lives. Miss Cullimore understands the importance of accepting all students even the quirky ones.
After one parent teacher conference, my daughter came home and was happy not because of the good grades that her son had earned, which he did, but because Miss Cullimore liked this quirky son of hers. Because Miss Cullimore treated him positively, he was successful at school and dealing with his other emotional concerns was easier. Miss Cullimore could not change the circumstances and challenges that my grandson faces; but she could make school a pleasant place to be and she did. Thank you Miss Cullimore.
-Joylene Ritchie