Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes
(KSL News) A special needs teacher is being praised today for being more than just a special teacher. Parents are calling him a hero.
Damen Gedicks, 15, looks forward to school at Granite Park Junior High in Salt Lake for one reason: seeing Mr. Havens. And Mr. Havens sees Damen for more than his disability.
Damen's mom, Tiffany, says Justin Havens motivated her son like no teacher ever has.
She said, "[Damen] basically stayed on the same grade level. He came into Mr. Haven's class last year and actually progressed an entire grade level in his reading, his math, everything."
"For [Mr. Haven] to be able to do that with my son, let alone all of the other kids, he needs a huge High 5," Tiffany added.
So our Brooke Walker surprised Mr. Haven with a High 5.
He said, "I'm overwhelmed. This is very humbling. I'm not a good teacher, I just care about the kids. I try to treat them like I would my own kids."
Principal Jason Anderson said, "Mr. Havens has been a wonderful teacher. He comes from the East Coast. He came to Utah, we hired him, and it's been a great two years. He is a wonderful teacher, a friend to the students and the community."
If there's someone you'd like to nominate for a High 5 see the link on this page.