Special Needs Teacher Nominated for High 5

Special Needs Teacher Nominated for High 5

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(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.

Damen Gedicks
Damen Gedicks

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.

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