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Jeanette Crossley – Orchard Elementary School

Our daughter, Emma, started kindergarten this last fall. She is very shy and will not talk to other people. She even takes time to warm up to grandparents that live out of town. It took her 9 months to start talking to her Primary teacher, so we knew that going in to kindergarten was going to pose some difficulties for her.

Mrs. Crossley has been so wonderful. We let her know of Emma’s difficulty before the school year started and she got in touch with us to find some solutions to make the transition easier. As the school year progressed she has continued to research and work to help Emma communicate in some way during class. She has made special arrangements for testing so that Emma won’t get zeros for all of her scores, as Kindergarten testing is mostly verbal. Mrs. Crossley even made a special “treasure box” for her and filled it with things that our daughter especially loves, like play jewelry and coloring books; I’m sure she used her personal funds to do this. A trip to the special treasure box has become a reward for Emma when she makes an extra effort to communicate in some way during class time. She is successfully shaking and nodding her head to answer yes and no questions, and Mrs. Crossley had found creative ways to ask other questions and have her point to pictures and things in order to answer.

I feel that our daughter’s introduction to school could have been a very difficult and fearful experience for her, but because of Mrs. Crossley’s extra effort, research, and investment of her time and personal resources Emma truly loves going to school. She really is an extraordinary, dedicated teacher.

–Malina Larson