Mrs. Jill Brewer deserves many awards!! After teaching 20 years in Dumas, Texas, she and her family relocated to Canadian, Texas where she began teaching Special Education Functional Living at Canadian High School. Our daughter, Brittany Walser, instantly bonded with her and has grown attached to "Brewer" as she lovingly refers to her. She never wants to leave school, and is always excited to go the next day! Jill sends us texts and pictures throughout the day to let us see Brittany's progress and all of the amazing things she is doing. This daily communication is priceless to parents of a student who has Down syndrome and limited speech who isn't always able to express herself and recount her day to us.
It is remarkable when a teacher can step outside of her job description to become an advocate for her student. We have witnessed this time and again with Mrs. Brewer always looking for ways to get Brittany involved with her peers. She has found her place with the Lady Cats Softball Team where she cheers for them from the dugout and gives them treats after games. The coach even arranged for Brittany to run the bases at the last home game as the players lined the path to home plate - giving high fives! She feels so special to be a part of the group. She loves her "girls." She is also involved with the FCCLA (Family Career and Community Leaders of America) where she helps the members with special projects and fundraisers. And she takes very seriously her duties to cheer in the bleachers with the Spirit Club at pep rallies and sporting events. This year, the Spirit Club arranged a send-off for Brittany as she left for a Special Olympics Basketball Tournament in Amarillo! I bawled as the kids lined the hallway, holding signs and cheering for Brittany. They made her feel so special and loved. Her teacher walked beside her.
Mrs. Brewer is always by Brittany's side. Encouraging her, loving her, beaming with pride. Brittany has blossomed this year. Her speech has improved. She is more confident and happier than she's ever been. Mrs. Brewer is the most upbeat, positive, cheerful, fun, great sense of humor yet professional teacher that we have ever met. We believe her positive attitude and the interaction she has with Britt and other students helps kids to see Brittany in a different light. I mean, they've always liked Brittany because she's so sweet and kind but maybe now they see more of her silly personality because Jill encourages those relationships. Instead of leaving classes early to avoid the amount of time it takes Brittany to make her way through the hallway to the next class - giving hugs and high-fives to everyone who is willing, Mrs. Brewer embraces the socialization that Brittany craves. Maybe even allowing her peers to see her in a new light. Making her more accessible and not hidden away.
The school presented Brittany with her very own "C" Letter Jacket complete with patches! Brittany was elected the 2018 CHS Homecoming Queen as well as the 2019 CHS Prom Queen!!! Her favorite activity is watching the videos of these events so she can re-live those magical moments! Our whole small town stands behind our Brittany and we know that is not a coincidence.
We are so incredibly thankful for Jill Brewer. We can't imagine the day when Brittany will be finished with school and not be able to see Mrs. Brewer every day. That will be tough. But until then, we will enjoy Brittany's newfound confidence and joyful disposition each time she is with Mrs. Brewer. Jill has a gift and we feel confident she will advocate for every one of her future students as well.