Diane Rockwood- Freedom Elementary

Jun 21, 2018, 8:08 PM | Updated: Jan 15, 2021, 6:10 am

The following was submitted by Misty Choate.

“This nomination is for the Principal of Freedom Elementary School in Hooper Utah, Diane Rockwood. Ms. Rockwood has far exceeded our expectations as concerned parents of a newly diagnosed child with high functioning Autism. Last year we contacted Ms. Rockwood after a horrible situation at a Charter school. My son (who was later diagnosed with autism) was pushed aside and considered a lost cause at this charter school. They threatened to expel my son in first grade however we were able to move him to public school before that was officially done.

Ms Rockwood and the staff at Freedom Elementary has changed not only our son’s life, but ours as his parents. I have a hard time explaining the stress the previous school put on me as a working mother without shedding a few tears. They would call me 2-3 times a week wanting me to go to the school to get my son. He was suspended many times for things my teacher friends say is normal in a 1st grade class room. They told us he was to had to handle and that moving him to a public school wouldn’t help him. We decided to move him anyway, and we are so glad we did.

Ms. Rockwood took it upon herself to make sure our son transitioned and thrived at his new school. Our first meeting with Ms. Rockwood and her staff included her, the school counselor, Special Ed, District helpers, and his new 1st grade teacher. They had a plan in place the day he started and made him feel so welcome. She personally went above and beyond for our son. When he acted up, she would walk him around the school to calm him down. She downloaded album after album on iTunes so she could have his favorite music available for him when he was agitated. She would call me and my husband in the evenings to give me updates, and encouragements. We often had meetings discussing new issues that would come up with our son and she was always so positive, expressing how gifted and smart he was. She knew she could help him and that he would soon be mainstreamed in the classroom. He had a rough transition, but nothing compared to the charter school. The staff there showed him love and respect, which helped him to feel more comfortable and safe. I read a quote one day saying “he didn’t need to be fixed, he only needed to be loved” and Ms Rockwood and her staff did just that.

Because of Ms. Rockwood our son has excelled. She calls him “their greatest success”. He is now in 2nd grade and is thriving. He went from a kid with behavior problems so severe that he was hardly in the classroom, to being in the classroom most of the day. With Ms Rockwoods encouragement, the staff at Freedom have guided him to be a responsible, and successful 2nd grader and he thanks to their help is working hard to catch up to his class mates. His teacher this year, Mrs Montgomery is sensational as well, as is the special Ed teacher Mrs. Edwards. We love them both dearly and wish they could be awarded for their help with our little guy. Though all of the staff at Freedom are exceptional, we know it comes from administrators like Ms Rockwood to encourage teachers to do their best and work hard for these children. We are so grateful for everyone at this school. So happy we took the leap to move our son.

Side note: Diane Rockwood is such a fun principal for all the kids. I have seen her greeting the kids in the rain yelling “Happy Wednesday” opening doors for them as their parents pull up. She knows so many of their names. She high fives them as she walks through the hall. She tries her hardest to make every child there feel welcome and wanted. She dressed up as a dinosaur for halloween, and even let every single child in the school dump ice cream sundae ingredients on her after shaving part of her head because they met their fundraising goal. She goes above and beyond what is expected from a principal and I believe she needs to be rewarded and recognized for her outstanding service to our school. She is truly one of Utah’s greatest teachers/administrators. Please consider her for this award. She is more than deserving.”

Today’s Top Stories

Hurricane Ian flooding in Naples, Florida....
Amir Vera, Eric Levenson, Jason Hanna and Nouran Salahieh, CNN

Hurricane Ian weakens to Category 3 after making landfall in Florida, but officials warn the worst is yet to come

Hurricane Ian has weakened to a Category 3 storm hours after pummeling southwestern Florida Wednesday, but officials are warning people to stay inside as the worst of the storm is still on the way.
1 day ago
Researchers at UNLV say rocks with volcanic ash as old as 12 million years have been discovered at ...
Adam Small

Ancient volcanic ash found at Lake Mead, researchers say

Rocks with volcanic ash that could be 12 million years old have recently been found at Lake Mead, according to researchers from UNLV.
1 day ago
utah NWS warnings...
Mark Jones

Severe thunderstorm warning issued for Davis and Weber counties

A severe thunderstorm warning was issued for parts of Davis and Weber counties on Wednesday night. There is a slight chance of more rain on Thursday, according to KSL weather.
1 day ago
Hurricane Ian Satellite image...
Mark Jones

Former KSL NewsRadio talk show host in the path of Hurricane Ian

Drew Steele, a former KSL NewsRadio talk show host, currently lives near Fort Myers, Fla., with his family and is in the path of Hurricane Ian.
1 day ago
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Utah Transit Authority and bus operations across the natio...
Waverly Golden

UTA makes service reductions following staffing shortages

According to a press release from UTA, several emergency bus service adjustments will be made this December 11. 
1 day ago
academic website, BYU race...
Aimee Cobabe and Alex Cabrero

Researchers using dirty diapers to develop new autism test

Dirty diapers are being used by researchers at Brigham Young University as a way to try and detect autism in young children at an earlier age.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form 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.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Diane Rockwood- Freedom Elementary