Student Nomination Story

My daughter Emelina is a 6 year old little girl with adjustment disorder and PTSD. At her old school she was being bullied by her fellow students as well as staff. Because of this she was a very timid and anxious child, she didn’t have friendships, was singled out, she now hated school and was falling very far behind academically - so much so that me and her neurologist (she has Epilepsy) were becoming more concerned that she had an even more significant cognitive delay then we had thought. Her old teacher essentially described her as unteacheable. I pulled all 3 of my children out of that school and placed them in the Prescott School District (Malone Elementary) after talks and tours showed that their environment naturally fostered every child’s emotional health and well-being as well as their academic education. They worried about their students as a whole being vs just a test score. Immediately we noticed how nice Mrs. Elsenpeter was. Immediately we noticed her going above and beyond to not only understand Emelina academically, socially and emotionally but also going above and beyond to help foster and develop her in those aspects. I received emails, academic plans to help catch her up, make sure we were both working on the same page, checking in on her emotionally, making sure she was liking school and adjusting well. When Emelina started having anxiety about being bullied in the bathroom at her old school, Mrs. Elsenpeter offered to stand outside the bathroom door while she went in if it would make her feel safer/better. I immediately noticed a change in my daughter. It was like a light switch was flipped. She was so HAPPY! She loved school, she wanted to go every day of the week! She hated when she was sick and had to stay home. She constantly tells me how much she loves her teacher and how nice she is and that she never yells at her. She loves the flexible seating in the classroom. She also has FRIENDS! She’s anxious to run into school every morning when I drop her off and beaming when I pick her up and she talks all night about her school day and her teacher. And the most amazing part, my “unteachable” child IS LEARNING! She’s doing great at math, her letter and number recognition skyrocketed. As Mrs. Elsenpeter said to me one day “she just needed a loving environment to be taught in” and amen. She was right and Mrs. Elsenpeter has provided that every single day. She has changed my child’s life for the better, in every way - academically, socially, emotionally, self confidence. She gave me my beautiful bubbly child back to me and I will forever be grateful.

Emelina McClellan

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