Wesley Chapel kids write to local business, explaining why they love their teacher
Catherine and Justin Fijan wanted people to know how much a teacher at Wesley Chapel Elementary meant to them. After a trip to the dentist, they figured out just how to do it. The Wesley Chapel office of Hull and Coleman Orthodontics had a contest, where kids could write in, explaining who their favorite teacher was and why. The brother and sister put pen to paper and quickly set out to do just that.
“Mrs. Herron works hard to make the whole class happy and helps everyone succeed and move forward,” Justin, now 13 and in seventh grade, wrote. “(There was) a student in my class who wasn’t doing well. Mrs. Herron helped him to succeed and be ready for sixth grade.”
His sister Catherine, 11, echoed his words in her own article.
“Mrs. Herron helps us through problems at home and at school,” Catherine wrote. “You can tell her anything and she will help you through it. I feel comfortable around her all the time.”
The orthodontic practice was so impressed they selected Cindy Herron as the teacher of the month for March, donating $250 to Wesley Chapel Elementary, while presenting Herron with a certificate and Visa gift card.
“She makes me feel like I’m part of her family,” Catherine Fijan told Union County Weekly. “Students mistakenly call her mom all the time. She challenges and believes in me.”
Justin Fijan said that Herron tries to make the students feel welcome and comfortable working in her class.
“She’s a really good teacher,” Justin said. “I was behind in reading and she really helped motivate me to get better.”
The Fijans’ mom, Debra, also saw the impact their teacher had.
“She loves the kids, she pours her heart out and cares about them,” Debra said. “My son, he’s one of those kids who are fidgity. She saw his potential and was able to pull it out of him.”
Dr. Hull said the project is something new his practice wanted to try this year, as a way of giving back to the community.
“Looking at the cuts the schools are supposed to take, they just seem to be getting a raw deal,” Hull said. “We treat a lot of middle school and early high school kids. One of the things they talk about is school and about their teachers, so we decided to honor a teacher of the month.”
The practice set a stand up display in the Wesley Chapel office, with sheets kids could take to suggest a teacher. Each form includes a place for the teacher’s name, the school and space for a paragraph about why the teacher is special. Kids can then drop off the sheets before the end of the month.
“This month, we had to go through 60 to 70 proposals,” Hull said. “I’m amazed at how many kids really look up to their teachers as mentors. I does make a difference who teaches these classes.”