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Abe Yospe – Westland Elementary

Never in the 25 years plus of KSL’s Teacher Feature program have we received so much supporting evidence for a deserving teacher. With the case she built for Mr. Yospe’s inclusion, we at KSL are certain that nominator Jennifer Carr doubles her time as a highly-paid attorney.

Below is the nomination in full. Scroll to the bottom of this page to hear the story audio.

Barbara Yost – Principal Westland Elementary and Mr. Yospe’s supervisor:

I’ve had the opportunity to work with Mr. Yospe both as a 1st grade colleague and as anadministrator. As a colleague his willingness to welcome a 6th grade veteran to the 1st grade team and share his expertise was invaluable. As an administrator I appreciate his contributions to our school through his service on school and community committees, his leadership and mentoring skills, and his ability to connect with students of all ages and abilities. Probably the greatest compliment I could give Mr. Yospe is that I would put one of my children or grandchildren in his classroom because they would enjoy every minute of their academic experience.

Amy Martz – Principal Granite School District 2001‐2014:

This is going to sound weird, but I have never had a child in Mr. Yospe’s class, but Mr. Yospe is so famous, that his stories have spread to strangers! I am a massage therapy client of Barbara George. Barbara George’s granddaughter had Mr. Yospe last year. Several of the granddaughter’s funny stories made it onto Mr. Yospe’s class webpage. I joined in to read the antics of this sassy little darling. I have heard enough to believe that he is the best teacher ever!!

Shellie DeHaan – 1st Grade Teacher – Westland Elementary

Abe Yospe has a natural talent for teaching. He is funny and engaging, and he has every student “in the palm of his hand.” The students are always excited when they know Mr. Yospe will be their rotations teacher for the day. They love him! Abe has developed a whole set of characters that visit his classroom when he is teaching writing. Each month is a different character. He dresses as the character and uses funny mannerisms and voices as well. The kids love it.

Abe is very creative as well. He has dreamed up many fun ideas for music for our 1st grade programs. He does funny interviews with the students and has been known to dress as a grandma during “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer.”
Abe is great to work with as a teammate. He is flexible and always sees the positive side of situations. He is always happy to do whatever is asked of him. Abe brings humor to pretty much every situation. I am a better person for having known and taught with Abe Yospe.

Lori Nickerson – 2nd Grade ALPS teacher – Westland Elementary

I am fortunate that Abe sends his first graders to me! They come excited about school and ready to learn. He creates such a unique and engaging atmosphere in his classroom. His silliness, creativity, and love of kids rubs off. Kids learn that school is a safe, welcoming, and fun place to be. I feel honored to call Abe my colleague and my friend. He is a great man and teacher.

Launi Casper – Parent of past student

Abe Yospe was my son’s first grade teacher. My son adored him then and still looks up and admires him now. He has even expressed interest in being a teacher so he can be just like Mr. Yospe!

Tiffany Boase – Parent of past student

I don’t even know where to begin with my praise for Abe Yospe. He has made a profound impact on both of my children who were blessed enough to have him as a teacher. Never have kids looked more forward to school than the time they spent in Mr. Yospe’s class. Weekends were devastating, knowing it would be a full TWO days until they could go to Mr. Yospe’s class again. Abe Yospe has a seemingly endless amount of energy that he uses each day to entertain WHILE teaching. The kids hang on his every word, wondering what crazy thing he will do next. They don’t even realize they are learning. Every day they came home excited, so anxious to tell me about something Mr. Yospe did that day. But as crazy as he seems on the surface, he is such a loving and kind teacher. When one of his “characters” made my daughter nervous, I asked him if she could sit in the back and have a little distance. Instead, he never used that character again, much to her relief. I was so touched that he would be so sensitive to her and her anxieties. She had others worries too, which he was so helpful in addressing and helping her with. I will never forget that. Then my son had the great privilege to be in his class. Mr. Yospe would go out and play sports with the kids at recess, he really worked at developing my son’s talents. But the most touching thing he did for him was once when he was out sick for a whole week with the flu. That Friday the class had a soda party as a reward. My son had to miss the party, which made missing Mr. Yospe’s class for a whole week, that much
worse. Friday afternoon we heard a knock at our door. We were shocked to see Mr. Yospe there with a 2 liter bottle of soda for Jacob and a really sweet card. I couldn’t believe he took the time to write a card and drive to our house(which is not in school boundaries), just so he
could let Jacob know he was loved and missed. It still makes me teary to think about that. Another thing I loved about having kids in his class was when I would get an occasional email, telling me some random, cute thing my child had done in class that day. That’s how he spends his breaks and lunches, sharing with parents how awesome their kids are. I wish all teachers would understand that what most parents want most from a teacher, is to see that
they love their children. Also the kids got a personal note every week on their homework. Sometimes it was to tell them they did a great job on homework. Other times it
cheered them on for being great in basketball or saying he missed them while they were on a trip, etc. So thoughtful. Those are just a few examples. I could go on and on. Abe Yospe is one of a kind.

Jennifer Carr – Parent of current student

Abe Yospe is simply an extraordinary teacher! The extra time he takes to make each child feel special and appreciated is a value beyond measure. I can see them blooming daily with his guidance and humor. With a full time job, a family, keeping up with the comedy page, and additional classes he is taking, he still takes the time to write personal and positive notes to each student every week. The children look forward to seeing what he has to say on each one and treasure his comments. He takes the time to get to know each students strengths and weaknesses. Then finds a way to encourage them individually to grow in both areas, noticing and acknowledging their improvements.

As unique as they are, all his students share the same sentiment: “I love having Mr. Yospe as my teacher!” We hope he will look back at the beautiful and young faces of his students over the years and know that wherever they go, and whatever they do, he left a lasting impression. Not
just on their minds, but also on their hearts.

Kim Christensen – Parent of current student

There aren’t even correct words to describe Mr. Yospe as a teacher and person! Here are just a few things that makes him stand out above the rest…

• He makes every kid feel like they are so special.

• He does the most crazy and funniest things on a daily basis, but can keep the class under control and still teach such valuable lessons in the process.

• He takes the time to disguise himself as a special visitor (which changes after every kid has been picked, so around 5 times a year) to make a kid feel special for the day and still teaches

them as the visitor always brings new concepts!
• If you have a concern or a question you can email him and he will respond so quickly and already have a solution in the works.

• He’s really big about teaching the kids how to be respectful to each other, adults, and things, as well as being kind to everyone!

We love Mr. Yospe and am so grateful to have had the privilege of him teaching one of my children. She has grown and learned so much this past year and we would love for him to be rewarded for his above and beyond measures.

Parent comment:

My daughter had Abe Yospe last year. Abe is an INCREDIBLE teacher. Abe is our favorite first grade teacher by far, we have had three others for our children and we like each of them. My daughter blossomed under his teaching. To be a teacher in the ALPS program is not an easy task. The teachers have children that are gifted and NEED to be understood as well as taught in a way that challenges them. I am very grateful that our immersion into ALPS was with such a fantastic, fun teacher.

Parent comment:

If you knew Abe Yospe at all, you’d want your children in his class. We’ve had two of our children who went through his class. Our youngest son is just finishing the year with him and is severely disappointed that summer vacation is coming because he will no longer be in Mr. Yospe’s class. That feeling is shared by many children in the class. Our kids LOVE school and learning, and it’s in large part because of teachers like him who go out of their way to find a way to make learning engaging and fun.

RSchaefer comment:

I have the incredible opportunity to both teach with Mr. Yospe and have my daughter in his class this year. He is an amazing educator! As a parent, I have loved watching my daughter make rapid academic progress and work harder than I thought she could because she enjoys his class so much. As a veteran teacher, I have loved watching him find ways to put an exciting spin on everything he does. Even grammar exercises are fun in his class! Mr. Yospe does not waste a single educational minute‐‐each one is both academic and engaging. We would all do well as eeducators to follow his example in helping children develop the disposition to love learning and seek challenge.

Comment –

This guy, to me, is an inspiring example! I hope I can become a teacher that is clever enough to use all of my talents in helping to motivate and bring out the best in students. I’d be interested to see what a day in his class is like and how the students take to his teaching.

Scott Robinson – Parent of Past Student

I was lucky enough to have one of my daughters in Mr. Yospe’s class (2 years ago). Mr. Yospe is seriously one of the funniest guys you will ever meet. A reader may get the impression that Mr. Yospe is fun‐and‐games 100% of the time. I can assure you that my daughter learned a LOT in
his class. She blossomed in his class. After his class, she loves learning and reading, and she gained a lot more self‐confidence. I feel indebted to his awesomeness, and always will. Mr. Yospe is a dedicated professional and excellent teacher, who just happens to be one of the
funniest guys alive. We’re lucky to have Mr. Yospe in the teaching profession.

Comment –

I met Abe via blogging several years ago before I even knew he was a teacher. He is one funny guy. I know he works hard to not only entertain his students, but to educate them. I’m considering auditing some first grade classes next year.

Comment –

I am willing to wager that this teachers students will retain most of what he teaches, because he makes it so fun and interesting, instead of the boring hum drum status quo. This Teacher enjoys what he does, and cares about those kids, this is why he goes the extra mile. I wish I had a teacher like this early in my school years, and I would have liked school, instead of dreading every day that I HAD to go. I bet those kids can’t wait to get to his class, and I am sure there is no tardiness.

Melanie R –

Ha, my daughter.. has loved every minute of first grade. She tells me every day the fun things she has done in class and I am amazed at what she has learned this year. So yes, Mr. Yospe does get plenty of laughs from her. And like her classmates, she is so sad to see this year come
to an end.

Claire C –

I would like to congratulate Mr. Yospe. He has taken on quite a challenge teaching in the ALPS program. I think that it is wonderful the way he can get every child in the room interested in learning. My son has absolutely opened up this year in his class and now loves to go to school
every day. I think that Mr. Yospe has a true talent for teaching. He is kind and compassionate with the kids and really listens them. He is also creative with each child’s learning style which enables the kids to learn. I feel lucky to have had my son experience such an awesome teacher
at an early age. Don’t ever change!

Some comments from his 2015/2016 class for a special book parents put together for Mr. Yospe ‐

‐ My favorite thing to do in your class is quite time. I like quiet time because it is quiet and it gives me time to read and draw a picture. I LOVE being in your class because you are the best teacher in the world, because you are a really fun and silly teacher. I wish I could be in your class forever.

‐ You are my favorite teacher because you are super nice, you are very funny, and you make me want to come to school. Thank you for being so awesome!

‐ I love Slushy! I love Mr. Yospe! Don’t tell anyone ‐ I love, really love, school!

‐ I love the songs you make! I love all of the characters you have like Owley, and Slushy and the King!

‐ I like when you dress up like Slushy, even though you don’t want us to know that you are Slushy.

‐ I like him because he plays with us at recess, he is funny, he is nice, he helps me. Can you say “HI!” to Slushy for me?

‐ You’re cool! Are you the King or Sloshy? Are you both? You are awesome. You are a hero!

‐ I like you because you are awesome, sweet, nice, cool, smart and talented. You make me laugh for many reasons. One of the reasons is you make funny faces. I love your class and I want you to be my teacher every year!!

‐ You are the best teacher in the world! I love you!

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