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Emily Fife, Sunrise Elementary School

I would like to take a moment to commend Emily Fife for being an outstanding educator. My son has been in her first grade class this year, and I am amazed at the progress and growth he has shown after working with her.

My son has exceptionalities that present some challenges in the school environment, but Ms. Fife has always been willing to work with him, despite the time I’m sure this adds to her daily planning and routines. She has taken a lot of time to meet with us and get to know our son so that we could work together to help him succeed in first grade. I believe this open communication and willingness to work with us is a hallmark of a great teacher. She shows that she is concerned with the child’s needs and well-being overall, not just how it affects her and the classroom.

I have been in her classroom often, and I have witnessed her patience and understanding with all her students, not just with our son. Another way in which she has gone above and beyond is how she has taught the kids in her class to support and help one another, especially my son who needs some additional help and understanding from the kids in his class. The kids in her class all demonstrate patience, kindness, and understanding because of the example she has set for them. In a world where too often kids are treated poorly, she has created a safe environment for growth and learning and an environment where kids look out for one another and build each other up.

Another characteristic demonstrated by Ms. Fife that has impressed me most this year is how she takes time to really focus on each student individually.
Particularly with our son, I’ve seen her focus on individual strengths. Sometimes with exceptionalities, students get classified by challenges they have, but Ms. Fife has always focused on our son’s strengths and abilities while still helping him develop and grow his areas of weakness. This has been particularly encouraging to us to see—to know that our son is in an environment where he will be able to succeed and not be defined only by the challenges he faces.

Ms. Fife has worked very hard with our son this year, and though I know she must have been frustrated at times, she has always been wonderful in her interactions with us and with our son. This year he has improved greatly in his social and academic skills, and I believe this can be contributed to the patient teaching from Ms. Fife. She has truly had a profound impact on his entire life because of the positive experience that he has had in first grade.

Our son is always happy to go to school, and he loves Ms. Fife. Recently I made the mistake of telling him that he’d miss school when we went on our family vacation to Disneyland, and he was sad that he was going to miss school and Ms. Fife. There can be no greater testament to a great teacher than that a child would choose going to school over Disneyland!

That is why I feel she deserves to be recognized as KSL’s Teacher Feature. She is truly an outstanding educator who has wonderful and profound impact on the lives of her students.

– Kyle Moreton