Jamestown, NC - More than 100,000 teachers in North Carolina are being appreciated for their educational work for "Teacher Appreciation Week."
Corina Campbell is the mother of a Haynes-Inman Elementary student, who's autistic. Campbell is very protective of her son and his progress with autism. She was hesitant at first, about placing her son in a public school.
"I said no way! This is a waste of my time," said Campbell.
She felt her son would be better served at home with family.
"I really feel like, with Donovan not to be able to communicate at all for himself. Maybe, we should hold off on this? But from the moment I stepped in the door, I was wrong," explained Campbell.
Donovan's mother has now changed her mind about sending her autistic toddler to pre-kindergarten, after two years.
"He will be successful at his next school and I owe Ms. Lewis and all the teachers here and the principal, a big thank you for that because they have giving him a love for school," said Campbell.
She also believes her son is thriving because of his Haynes-Inman Elementary special needs teacher, Brenda Lewis.
And now she's getting an extraordinary recognition from Donovan's mother who wrote an appreciation letter to Lewis.
"I really love the kids I work with. For a parent to take the time to write a letter like that really touched my heart," said Lewis.
Here's the letter Ms. Campbell wrote in appreciation of Lewis.
My only child Donovan Jones is a student at Haynes Inman. He loves to run and plays like most students. However, my son is not able to communicate with words or signing at this time. I was very nervous and honestly afraid of sending him to school.
I declined EC/GCS services for him and worked on some home school options for him when he turned three.
However, another meeting with EC Preschool staff during the summer of 2011 I hesitantly agreed to at least give it a try.
I was so nervous and super protective.
I called over to Haynes-Inman and asked if I could come over for a tour. The principal Kevin Carr told me that I could come over anytime and I took him up on that offer.
My son has been at Haynes-Inman for the last two school years. I cannot tell you how his life has changed. He rides the school bus! He is more independent and he is so happy that I can't find the words to describe it!
His teacher is the AMAZING Brenda Lewis. Although he has autism she still has very high expectations for him. She loves him but she pushes him! It's not daycare - it is school! He has a very engaged circle time, he works independently on the computer and just so much more! He even has academic stations and tasks!
On Friday he was in a school musical! I can't tell you what it feels like to see your child who is not able to express himself with words in a costume, in a musical and having fun!
This is his last year at Haynes-Inman, as he will be moving to kindergarten at most likely Sternberger in the fall. Now I have been begging them to let him stay! It's funny how things turn out.
I love this school and his amazing teacher Brenda Lewis as well as his two very patient teacher assistants: Vicki Misenheimer and Julia Walker.
The principal Mr. Carr acts like he is genuinely happy to see you when you walk through the door.
Haynes-Inman is just an amazing place to be!
I am forever grateful for this experience.
His teacher Mrs. Lewis always provides additional resources and support to help you with all of the unique aspects of being a parent of a special needs child.
Thanks for taking the time to read my Good News! I could actually keep typing however, my lunch time is over! I am sure you get the message!