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Wendy Hawkins – Primary Children’s Middle School

Wendy is a teacher at Primary Children’s Middle School and one that deserves to be recognized for her outstanding abilities and for going above and beyond as a role of teacher in her students lives. Wendy is not your average teacher with your average classroom. She is the teacher of patients that are in the Wasatch Canyons Residential Treatment and Day Treatment Programs. These children present challenges that the typical teacher would not encounter in your every day classroom. These children are dealing with a variety of concerns in their lives and they are coming to the center to overcome and cope with these difficult challenges. These are special children that need extra support and attention. And Wendy manages to support these children above and beyond the role of a school teacher. Wendy is the perfect example of a teacher that not only instructs academics but gives these children a vision of who they are and what they can become.

I was able to get to know Wendy when my own daughter became a member of her classroom. She loves the children she teaches and she cares about each one. She organizes the work of each child into a binder so the children can have a reference of what they learned while in her class. Wendy also spends time outside the classroom to make sure these children get the support they need. My daughter told me that she often would eat lunch with the kids and spend time getting to know them. She would spend extra time with children, talking to them about their struggles and try to help them cope so that they could concentrate and succeed in their education. She quickly becomes an advocate and then takes that passion and tries to help these children recognize their abilities and strengths they have.

What most amazed me about Wendy is the time she takes after these children have advanced from the treatment center to make sure these children have a chance to succeed in their normal schools. Wendy takes time to help parents to advocate on behalf of their children. She attends meetings with school officials and special education administrators to make sure that each child has the supports in school that they need to succeed. She helps to inform parents about the IEP process that many of the children have already established in the school system. She is passionate about making sure the children are in a place where than can have a successful life. She takes this passion and tries to ignite a fire within her students and their parents. Wendy helped me to see more clearly my role in my daughters’ success. And because of Wendy, I am now able to help pass my knowledge on and give support to other parents in the public school system that may be going through similar challenges. She is truly an amazing person and an example of what difference a dedicated and supportive teacher can make on the lives of her students.

-Naomi Long