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Mrs. Pugh is a 4th grade teacher. My son is in her class this year. She has a heart of gold and a happy, bubbly personality. My son was diagnosed with Leukemia 3 years ago, and was scheduled to finish treatment this March. His latest LP showed irregular cells, meaning the possibility of a reoccurrence of the Leukemia. When Mrs. Pugh heard about this, she decided to do something.

At the beginning of the school year, she read the book “Sadako and The Thousand Paper Cranes”. It is about a girl who had leukemia and Japanese legend states that if 1000 paper cranes are folded, one wish is granted from the Gods and it is a sign of a miracle. My son, Brigham, immediately related to this story and started folding paper cranes last fall. He folded about 100 cranes and then realized what a huge task that is. When Mrs. Pugh heard about Brig’s situation, just one week ago and she went to work. She rallied the troops (her class and the whole school) and started folding paper cranes, all the while, Brigham didn’t have a clue this was being done for him. They hung them in the hallway and the last count was over 1500 cranes were folded. Fast forward to today when Brigham was completely surprised and overwhelmed with happiness when he walked into school today. His classmates were cheering for him and he was in awe of all the paper cranes folded, for him.

The thing about Mrs. Pugh is, she doesn’t think or need or expect any recognition for this. She is a phenomenal teacher but what sets her apart is she takes the time for each and every kid. The base of her doing this was to let Brigham know that they believe in miracles and that what he has gone through the past 3 years is amazing. Even if he has to face cancer again, she is not going to let that uncertainty shadow what he has gone through and was almost finished with. She also, did this because it was “hard”! She wanted to teach her class, that just like Brigham and his cancer and treatment, that they can do hard things too! And they did it. She is a phenomenal teacher. I help in her class and I see what a patient, kind and wonderful teacher she is. She takes individualized time with each student to make sure they are getting the attention they need to learn. But she takes her role as teacher above and beyond. She teaches her kids life lessons. Today, she teaches her kids the lessons of “we can do hard things!” and to support and lift up those around them that may be going through tough stuff. She is incredible and I hope I have portrayed her as the wonderful and influential woman she is.
– Brynne Israelsen