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Rebecca Mikkelsen – Washington Terrace Elementary

My kindergarten age son suffers from anxiety. We are just figuring it out and are new to the whole process. He cries every day before school. Mrs. Mikkelsen (his teacher) has been amazing to help my son overcome his anxieties and has made each day a little better. Let me tell you an example of why she should be your teacher of the year!

My son has an irrational but traumatizing fear of earthquakes. He also does not do well with loud noises, like an alarm. Well his school, like all schools has drills; earthquake, fire, and intruder. This is extremely scary for my son. After letting Mrs. Mikkelsen know, I asked that she just let me know when they are so I can help prepare my child. Becky has done so much more than that.

One day my son came home happy, telling me about a pretend fire drill they had. I was confused because normally he is terrified of fire drills. So I asked him to explain. He told me that his teacher has a practice fire drill without any alarms or noise. She made it not scary and explained the whole process. The following week he came home happy telling me about a fun intruder drill his teacher did in their classroom. The next week he was telling me how not scary earthquake drills are. Never one time did I ask his teacher to go above and beyond her duties to ensure my son was comfortable. She just saw a child who needed some extra help and came up with a plan.

The day of a real fire drill I debated sending my son. He knew it was going to happen and was having anxiety. The two of us decided he should go. I was so nervous for him. When he came home He told me all about it. He never cried. He got to lead the line. He got to hold the clip board and he got to be brave! He felt so validated and proud. As a mom I couldn’t be more grateful or in debt to this lady! I could never repay her for her kindness but know that a night away and a fabulous dinner would be a start. She is a hero to me and my son. He isn’t afraid to go to school anymore due to her! Please select her!

–Sommer Rollins

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