Student Nomination Story

My son was diagnosed high functioning autistic, ODD, ADHD, and borderline bi-polar when he was 4 years old. He has always had a hard time in school, never wants to be there, always feels like the teachers and other students are against him and out to get him and "not on his side." He has difficulty in social settings and often is a loner or quiet. He gets in trouble a lot, and he generally is not understood. I also have felt that there were few educators that understood how to be kind. Kindness is so rare these days. Then my son started Knox Junior High. I have never felt more love or a sense of welcome anywhere else. I wish Kenneth could have stayed there for the rest of his school career but as we all know they grow up and way too quickly. Kenneth has recently started at the ninth grade campus for Conroe ISD and unfortunately the atmosphere is different. He has been having a hard time and I reached out to Coach Ortiz more to vent, I knew he didn't work at the campus, and I was really just looking for someone to vent to. He not only listened and empathized and offered guidance but he took Kenneth and two other students (one was a former student like Kenneth and one a current student of his) on an outing. It may have just seemed like a wrestling match to most of the spectators there that day but it was so much more to those three boys, especially to my son. Kenneth's father got out of prison in December of 2017. At least when he was behind bars he had a reason not to spend time with his son, but since his release despite empty promises he has not been present in Kenneth's life. Coach Ortiz may not fill the hole that my son has in his heart, but I know Coach can help Kenneth understand it so much more than I ever will be able to. I will never be able to express all that he has done for our family. He is an awesome teacher, person, and friend. Thank you, Coach Ortiz.

Kenneth Bowen

To see more exceptional teacher nominees, visit The Honor Roll.