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First-grade teacher honored with a High 5

By Tonya Papanikolas | Posted - Dec. 7, 2011 at 5:00 a.m.


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SANDY -- One of the unsung heroes of the holiday season teaches a first-grade class at Grace Lutheran School in Sandy. Mrs. Kris Fjeldsted's warmth and wit have captivated both students and co-workers there.

From students to administrators, there is no shortage of praise for Mrs. Fjeldsted. "She's very loving, very caring. She's dedicated," they say.

The entire school nominated Mrs. Fjeldsted for a High 5 to recognize her dedication to the students and the community.

Principal Donna Neward said, "You come here at 7:30 in the morning, she's already here. Five-thirty at night, she might still be here."

"She's so concerned that each of her students gets the best education possible," Neward added.

Mrs. Fjeldsted has spent the past 20 years teaching at Grace Lutheran School. This year she is the Rocky Mountain School District's Teacher of the Year.

"It's hard to get up in the mornings sometimes and it's hard to go to work sometimes," Mrs. Fjeldsted admitted. "But the minute the bell rings and the kids are coming in, then I know why I'm here, because they are here to make my day."

Mrs. Fjeldsted's dedication extends beyond the classroom. Several years ago she started a class project called "Smitten with Mittens." She challenged each student to earn money and use it to buy caps and mittens for children who did not have any.

Another teacher at the school, Cindy Hammons, said, "I saw this awesome project that she had started and wanted to involve my class in it as well."

About Camp Invention
  • Week-long day camp offered in elementary schools across the country
  • For 1st - 6th graders
  • Hands-on activities that enhance understanding of the arts, sciences, history, and math, with an emphasis on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Teamwork, creative problem solving, and inventive thinking are encouraged.
  • Created by the non-profit Invent Now Kids in partnership with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The entire school now participates in "Smitten with Mittens." The donated items go to Sudanese refugees in the Salt Lake Valley.

Mrs. Fjeldsted also spends her summer running the Salt Lake chapter of Camp Invention. Students take apart old electronics to discover how things work and to get a more hands-on approach to science and engineering.

Our High 5 sponsors, Les Schwab, presented Mrs. Fjeldsted with a gift basket as a thank-you.

If you know someone who is making a difference in the community, you can nominate them for a High 5 here.

E-mail: tpapanikolas@ksl.com

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Tonya Papanikolas

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