Taylor Hekking, East High School

Feb 15, 2023, 8:53 PM | Updated: Jan 30, 2024, 12:24 pm

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“Taylor Hekking, or “Miss Taylor” as she is known by to her students, is the special needs teacher for adolescent special needs kids at East High School in Salt Lake City. To say Taylor loves her students is a massive understatement. Taylor is their angel. She is very clever, thoughtful, and engaging with her students. She and her aides take the students out of the classroom on public transportation to places such as the State Capitol or Tracy Aviary. When a student passed away two years ago, Taylor organized and raised funds for her student’s funeral. I have seen Taylor and her aides in action because I have had the pleasure of playing Santa Claus for her classroom the past 2 years. Taylor asked each student what they wanted for Christmas, and went out and bought each the gift that they asked for. Santa took all the credit, but it was Taylor who was Santa’s elf, and her joy of seeing her students happy and laughing on the last day of school before Christmas break was very evident. She loves her job. She loves her students, and they love her. Taylor unfortunately had a student very close and dear to her pass away this past October. His name was Tyler. She asked me, I mean Santa, if I would make a special emergency visit to see him before he passed away. Of course, Santa jumped into his sleigh and paid Tyler, his family, and Taylor a visit at Tyler’s home where Taylor and Tyler’s family were holding vigil. Tyler smiled while Santa visited with him, and he knew that Miss Taylor brought Santa to see him. This would not have happened if it wasn’t for Taylor’s thoughtfulness and tender care. Taylor impacts her students with positivity and patience. Her students need and require constant supervision and attention, which Taylor provides that with grace and a smile. Taylor is an incredible special needs teacher and deserves recognition. Thank you.”

-Doug Huntsman

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Taylor Hekking, East High School