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Katie Utesch – Herriman Elementary

Currently Miss. Utesch is my son’s kindergarten teacher. He is also currently a ward of the state and was placed in our home as a foster child. He was severally neglected growing up and when he was placed in our home he was already 4 ½ and was severely delayed in his learning. We worked with him the best we could and we knew that we just didn’t have time to get him to where he needed to be. When it came time for the kindergarten testing we knew his teacher was in for a challenge as well as our son. We were told by one of the other kindergarten teachers in the school that he didn’t know very much and was very upset with that he was a foster child. She made the comment to my husband “oh he’s one of those kids”. It upset us that someone who is there to assist our children and make what is supposed to be a fun and enjoy transmission in to school could be so negative. We immediately requested another teacher and he was transferred into Miss Utesch’s class. The first little while of my son going to school was difficult for him as well as for his teacher and us. She kept working on assisting him with his school work through his struggles and now I am so happy with the result and it’s not even the end of the year yet. She has just made this school year an amazing experience not only for our son but for us. She not only teaches two classes but has made sure to stay in constant contact with us through out the year on his progress. She has sent home extra work sheets for us to work with him on to help him learn to write his name, and count and learn his alphabet and spelling. My son now has mastered his numbers to 20 and can read a few words in his work book she sends home for homework. There is such a big difference in him since the first day of school I am amazed at how fast it happened. Miss Utesch is a diamond. My son loves going to school now and is actually upset when he goes off track and can’t go see Miss Utesch. I honestly believe she loves every one of her students and they mean the world to her. She is just an amazing person and I honestly feel she deserves this award. I wish every child could have a teacher just like her.

–Michelle Olsen