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Karen Emery – McMillan Elementary School

My mom has fulfilled many roles in her lifetime. She has been our: best friend, taxi driver, cancer survivor, paper editor, soccer mom, tutor, advisor…the list could go on and on. She has successfully met our needs at home, and has somehow managed to be the most committed teacher I have ever had the privilege of knowing.

My mom has dedicated 31 years of her life to helping young children grow excited to learn. She has also fulfilled many different roles in her teaching career. She has been a teacher for the deaf, special education teacher, and a third grade teacher. I believe these varied experiences have only helped her become a more gifted with what she does. She goes out of her way to make accommodations for her students that have disabilities, and is able to be a support to the special education staff at her school. Students in my mom’s class know that she believes in them because she encourages them to do their best in school, and will often attend their extracurricular activities. This support can work wonders with a student with low self-esteem. My mom is one of the first to arrive at school, and one of the last to leave. Most nights, you can find her sitting at the dining room table scoring papers, or changing a lesson that she feels she can make even better than last year. Her students love her, and I always hear about how great she is (from people I have never met) when they find out that “Mrs. Emery” is my mom.

As my mom is retiring at the end of this year, it would be easy for her to become lazy and coast through the days until summer break; however, that is not my mother’s style. She will continue to try new things in the classroom, adapt her materials for kids that need extra help, and be a positive role model to her class through the final day of her career. She has never been one that wants or needs recognition for what she does. In fact, she often goes out of her way to remain anonymous. However, as her career is coming to a close, and she is moving on to a new chapter of her life, I hope that you can help me allow others to see her as I do; a teacher who is passionate about her job, and who has continuously made a difference in her students’ lives.

-Lauren Hughes