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Heather White, Hawthorn Academy

The following was submitted by Kelli Vorwaller.

“I have a son that was born with mild cerebral palsy. Although he has some physical limitations, His challenges are mostly academic. McKay is a very sweet boy and tries very hard to please everyone. He is in 4th grade and has become aware of his short comings in comparison to his peers.

When we scheduled an appointment for Parent Teacher conferences, I was prepared to hear the typical report of how far behind McKay was and that he is improving, but not quite up to par. I was brought to tears as I listened to Ms. White begin to exclaim how awesome McKay was doing. She placed a math sheet down on the table with a “Bam! Look at that paper! 100%”! She did not even mention it was a 1st grade math level paper. She then did the same thing with a spelling list. “McKay is rocking 4th grade”! She had him read me a page from a book he had been working on, which he did fantastic on. She focused on the fact that out was a level above where he was testing at.

As I listened to her build up his belief in himself, I could not hold back the tears. Her compliments came so easily, “smartest kid in the class”, “Bam! Look at this”, “Awesome”, were words she used to pour belief into him. We both walked out of there with our heads held high, feeling like we were the best!
He has struggled with being mistreated in the past, because he is a little different. Ms. White has stopped this and he has experienced the best year ever!! I am so grateful for her kindness and the ability to push him, but also celebrate his successes!”