Amy Madsen – Ellison Park Elementary

Dec 7, 2017, 10:41 PM | Updated: Jan 15, 2021, 6:10 am

My daughter, Mishell, was adopted from Ecuador 18 months ago at the age of 11. While Mishell did receive education at her orphanage, that was not the primary focus of her life as she was needed to help care for the younger children in her “casa” (house) as well as help with house chores, thus she was significantly behind in school when she arrived home with us. Mishell started 5th grade after we returned home with her in October 2015. She was at a different school at the time and we felt that she slipped through the cracks there. After that year, we moved to a new home in Layton with a lot of concerns about moving Mishell to yet another new school, how behind she was in school, and how she might fit in.

The night before school started this year, we received a call from the school principal that they were going to switch Mishell’s class to Mrs. Madsen and Mrs. Robinson’s class. We were upset about this because we had already met with her previously assigned teacher and the resource teacher to come up with a plan for her educational needs and we all felt good about it. We met again with Mrs. Madsen and Mrs. Robinson a week into the school year to come up with a plan with them to meet Mishell’s needs and I knew immediately that these were wonderful teachers, who not only have a passion for teaching, but a compassion for their students. Mrs. Madsen cried as she talked about staying up at night wondering the best ways she could go about meeting Mishell’s needs, and Mrs. Robinson talked about wanting to recruit her elderly father-in-law to come read with Mishell at the school, joking that he would be willing to drive his golf cart to come help her because he can’t drive anymore. I knew then that these ladies were going to be a big blessing to us and to Mishell.

This school year has absolutely done wonders for Mishell. Mishell not only learned a lot (she went from reading on a kindergarten level to reading and understanding on a 3rd grade level just this year), but she has been LOVED. Her teachers saw her worth and how special she is from day one and they did not allow her to forget it. They embraced her and in turn, the kids in her class and in the whole grade embraced her. Mishell is dreading the end of the school year (tomorrow) because she loves Mrs. Madsen and Mrs. Robinson and her class mates. Last year, it was a battle to get her to go to school.

Yesterday was the 6th grade graduation at Ellison Park and my tears overflowed when Mishell’s name was called as the Academic Scholar Award recipient for her class. She is not the typical definition of the “smartest kid in the class” but her teachers were willing to look outside of the box and award her for her huge efforts this year. The cheers for Mishell as she accepted her award were overwhelming to me. The vice principal and principal stood up and cheered for her and some of the other students cried. It was a phenomenal experience to see the result of the dedication of two special ladies whose love, faith in Mishell’s abilities, and teaching have absolutely transformed her.

-Kim Perry

Today’s Top Stories

Bodycam video released by authorities shows the good Samaritan trying to help the man on the tracks...
Tavleen Tarrant, CNN

Good Samaritan and NYPD officers rescue man from subway tracks moments before train arrives

A man was rescued from the New York subway tracks by good Samaritan and police just moments before a track arrived.
1 day ago
FILE - A Montana man was sentenced to three years in prison for his role in the Capitol riot. (AP P...
The Associated Press

Montana man gets 3 years in prison for role in Capitol riot

A Montana man will spend three years in federal prison for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S Capitol.
1 day ago
Police in Roy are trying to determine how a vehicle crashed into an unoccupied building Friday afte...
Mark Jones

Vehicle collides with unoccupied building in Roy, no injuries

Roy Police are trying to determine how a vehicle crashed into an unoccupied building Friday afternoon. The driver was arrested after fleeing the scene.
1 day ago
Debbie, left, and Chet Barnett place flowers at a memorial outside of the Chesapeake, Va., Walmart ...
The Associated Press

Walmart shooter left ‘death note,’ bought gun day of killing

According to authorities in Virginia, the Walmart shooter bought his gun just hours prior to killing six employees.
1 day ago
Dozens of residents were displaced after fire at a low income apartment complex in Richfield, Utah....
Mark Jones

American Red Cross of Utah seeks volunteers in central Utah

The American Red Cross of Utah is seeking volunteers in central Utah after a fire in Richfield earlier this week displaced 35 families.
1 day ago
Groundbreaking dates for four temples in Latin America have been announced this week by the First P...
Mark Jones

First Presidency issues 2022 Christmas message

A Christmas message was released Friday by the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
Amy Madsen – Ellison Park Elementary