The following was submitted by Catherine Dowse.
"If any teacher deserves special recognition for their dedication, sacrifice and work as a teacher, it is Lori Crockett. Mrs. Crockett is an outstanding kindergarten teacher, and has made an incredible impact in the life of our son, James. James came into kindergarten with a few cards stacked against him. Although very bright, James struggled in preschool with behavior issues and social maturity. We thought seriously about holding James back for these reasons, although he was more than ready academically to begin public school.
We finally decided to enroll James in kindergarten and hoped that he would be placed with the right teacher for his individual needs. As the school year began, we communicated our concerns about James with Mrs. Crockett and checked in often with her. Every correspondence we had with Lori was filled with hope, optimism and a "we can do this" attitude. We knew our son had been placed in the right hands.
Under the loving, tender, kind and hopeful guidance of Mrs. Crockett, we watched our son grow leaps and bounds right before our eyes. It was as if Mrs. Crockett had a magical touch with these wonderful kindergarten children she dedicated so much time, energy and resources to. My husband and I were astounded at the way James grew socially, behaviorally and academically. His self-confidence soared. He came home from school each day and proudly told us how much he was learning and how Mrs. Crockett thought he was such a hard-working and smart boy. We know that because of Mrs. Crockett's attitude toward our son, and the belief and faith she placed in him and his abilities, James has started out on the right foot in the public school system. He believes in himself now, just as Mrs. Crockett has! We couldn't be more grateful.
Not only have we seen the extraordinary in the way that Mrs. Crockett loves and treats her students, but also in the way she teaches them. Lori dedicates so much time and effort to making sure her students are learning, growing and being challenging. James has improved so much in all areas of his learning. His math skills are so strong, and he is reading amazingly well for his age. We owe so much to Mrs. Crockett!
Lori also took the extra time to go above and beyond the "typical" correspondence with parents and students. She was so consistent communicating with parents and always responded to questions and concerns promptly. She even took the time to write a personalized and thoughtful message on the inside of a book for each of her students on their "special day." After James had given Mrs. Crockett a special little gift, she even wrote him a thank you card - one that was so sweet and special, James now keeps it on his dresser in his room :) James is our fourth child in the public school system...not all teachers do this kind of thing! That is why we feel Mrs. Crockett is particularly special and deserves this wonderful honor.
Just last week, we found out that after 14 years of teaching kindergarten, Lori will be leaving Shelley Elementary to become a traveling literacy coach in the the Alpine School District, a newly created position. The administration also recognizes Lori's special teaching abilities and the way she connects with elementary aged children. She will be sorely missed at our school, but we all know she will do an amazing job in her new capacity. That is one more reason we feel this would be a perfect year for her to receive this special award, as she will not have her "own" classroom in the future. She deserves the recognition and amazing reward that KSL so graciously offers the winners!!! Mrs. Crockett is an AMAZING teacher and has sacrificed so much for her students! She has made an incredible, lifelong impact on our son, James, and we will forever be thankful. We love Mrs. Lori Crockett!!!"