Celeste Christensen, West Point Elementary School

Apr 25, 2023, 8:34 PM | Updated: Jul 14, 2023, 2:05 pm

“My daughter knows how to read because of Mrs. Christensen.

At her IEP meeting, I was warned that because of her difficulties, she was working twice as hard as her fellow students. It became easy for her to check out. Mrs. Christensen’s encouragement kept my daughter engaged in the classroom. Additionally, Mrs. Christensen used stations to practice with students in their areas of weakness. Together, obstacles were overcome and my daughter knows how to read! This is a skill that no one can take away from her and a new world has opened to her. She loves to practice her reading skills. Additionally, my daughter learned that hard work pays off and to never give up.

Stemming from her speech diagnoses, my daughter is also shy. She has aways found it hard to advocate for herself. Due to Mrs. Christensen’s kind and inviting nature, my daughter feels comfortable approaching her when she needs help or guidance. This skill will serve my daughter for the rest of her life.

It’s not just my daughter-every student in her classroom is valued and cared for by her. I know how important prep times are for teachers but whenever there is conflict between her students she sacrifices her prep time to go out onto the playground and helps observe and monitor. She seeks to resolve the conflict and helps everyone to continually broaden their circle of friends.

Mrs. Christensen welcomes parental involvement and always responds to parents emails thoroughly and promptly. She routinely communicates about the activities going on in the classroom. She supplements for each student by providing homework help for the specific subject that your student needs extra practice in.

And this year she has done all of this while battling breast cancer and going through chemotherapy treatments. Her hair fell out but that did not stop her from showing up for her students.

If she had retreated into survival mode until her treatments were over, no one would have judged her, but she didn’t and it has made a difference to each of her students. My daughter leaves Mrs. Christensen’s classroom with confidence in her own ability to read and advocate for herself. Mrs. Christensen’s love and effort to teach her students these important life skills things will serve them throughout their lives.”

-Ema Griffin

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Celeste Christensen, West Point Elementary School