Student Nomination Story

To understand what Mrs. Diana Smith has meant to me and my family you first must understand a little about my youngest son, Jacob. Jacob is a bright, sweet, energetic young man who loves to laugh and have fun with friends. Jacob also has Autism. This can cause this normally loving kid to express himself in ways that he does not know how to control. He can have violent outbursts or just shut down and not move for hours. Autism has also affected how Jacob can learn and retain information, especially math, but it also effects how he can retain things he reads. Jacob had tried both public school and homeschooling. Both, with horrible results and stress for him, his teachers, and the family. His days were filled with people trying to force him to learn in ways that were beyond him. He hated school and everything about it. He had no friends at school and by the time he got home he was so stressed and overwhelmed he didn’t want to do anything with anyone else. Jacob was miserable and angry. When Jacob was assigned to Mrs. Diana’s class at the beginning of this year my wife and I were understandably nervous. Our fears were completely unfounded. Mrs. Diana was welcoming and friendly from the moment we walked into her classroom. She is loving and caring but also stern and strict when she needs to be. All the kids in her class need special attention in some way and they all have individualized lesson plans. Mrs. Diana not only makes each of her 15 kids feel and perform like rock stars, she does all this with out a teaching aid. Jacob has gone from an angry child to a promising young man in less than one school year. Mrs. Diana has played a large part in this. Now he is excited to go to school. He wants to be at school early. I have asked him several times what Mrs. Diana is doing differently than his other teachers have done. He simply answers, “she makes it fun.” Questions like “what did you learn at school today” use to turn into Jacob hiding under a table, curled in a ball crying. Now they have led to some interesting discussions at the dinner table about King Tut or how to grow strawberries. He is excited to tell us about what he has learned. We are so thankful for Mrs. Diana. She has helped to change Jacob’s life in so many ways. He loves to learn now! He enjoys school! These are things I could not say about him before Mrs. Diana. We will always be grateful to her!

Jacob Rosenbaum

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