Student Nomination Story

Kellen was marked for behavior the moment he walked through the doors. Pre-K was a horror and that started his daily “red” level days. It was always what he was doing wrong, not anything he was doing right. Pre-K? We’ll call that the lost year. Then we get to Kindergarten, and we see this bubbly teacher so excited and ready to meet and know Kellen. It wasn’t easy at first, nor did her and I hit it off right away. He came home on red but there was a change in Kellen. He WANTED to go back to school everyday. He wanted to go learn. There were no fights, there were no arguments. He had clicked with his teacher FINALLY. That wasn’t the most important part either, she was the first one who noticed he needed help. We set a plan in place and at first I was angry. I was angry because I didn’t think he needed all this extra help, I just thought he was bored. We were both right. Kellen is in 3rd grade now, virtually. Now let me tell you what has happened since the end of Kindergarten until today. I really just noticed it the other day, but now that I’ve figured it out, it makes me cry. Mrs Navarette has single-handedly changed my sons life. When he was taking a test a few days ago, I heard him mumble something to himself. I asked what he said and his words were “I have to stop this because Ms. Navarette would not be proud right now.” The same Ms Navarette that taught him 3 years ago. This reminds me of all the times while he was on his way to 3rd grade, that his behaviors were an issue, and they used her as a reward. From Cupcake lunches to just seeing her, that would be enough for him. He loves and respects her, and when I became a mom, I thought I was the only one he would be like that with until he got older. But it’s not just one way, Jennifer has reached out to me over the course of the past 3 years. Whether it was just to let me know she misses Kellen or to offer help in anyway, she always comes to check on him. I don’t really want to share personal conversations but I can tell you, if you ask any teacher or staff that works in that school, about Kellen and Ms. Navarette, they’ll tell you their own story. I love the way she loves my son. I love the way she knows he will be going places. Her checking in for lunch bunches is my favorite thing. She takes the time out of her schedule to make time for him. Even if she can’t make the time, she sends me an email to check in. I know I didn’t write this the best way. I wish I could be a detailed writer, but I know this woman deserves everything, the entire world.

Kellen Mannion

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