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Melanie Olney – Roy Elementary

Good teachers are found behind the doors of most classrooms, great teachers leave their doors open, but wonderful teachers like Mrs. Olney take their students and their experiences outside themselves and their classrooms to experience more than those walls can hold.

Mrs. Olney, then, is the wonderful teacher who gives her students more experiences than are required by the state, more than the students, their parents, or their administration would ever expect…experiences that will change not only the students, but the senior citizens up the street, the homeless people in a neighboring shelter, and a chilly audience in the Christmas Park, filled with the carols the kids wouldn’t be singing without Mrs. Olney’s devotion.

Mrs. Olney takes her students to the nursing home just up the street to read to the older citizens, brightening the days with the smiles and talents of elementary students who have walked the few blocks, even on the coldest days, books in hand, to share their favorite stories.
Once their work is done in the classroom, the students gather with hat looms, picks, and boxes of yarn, some of which Mrs. Olney has purchased, and some donated skeins, making hats to be donated to the homeless shelter in Ogden.

On Thursdays before school, she gathers the volunteer choir to work on Christmas songs for a concert in the Christmas village, and into the winter the kids work on the school “musical.”

Everything she does is proof that she loves the kids, loves giving them more experiences than they would normally have within one school year, and memories, not just for the students, but for parents, siblings, community, and the less fortunate, all with devotion, caring, sincerity and joy.

As a former teacher, parent, and grandparent, I can easily say that Mrs. Olney is one of the most outstanding teachers I have had the privilege of knowing, and she is very deserving of KSL’s Teacher Feature.

–Diana Shinn