Nebo’s Emily Blaisdell, a teacher at Mapleton Elementary, was awarded the State of Utah PTA Outstanding Elementary Educator Award as well as the Region 10 PTA Outstanding Elementary Educator Award.
A PTA parent, Jason Nackos, submitted the following:
“Emily stumbled into school like a boxer in the late rounds of a match, determined to give it her all and come out on top. In this case, her fight was with a stage prop she was testing for the school play that sent her tumbling to the ground. She probably should have stayed home the next day, but the show must go on! Whether she’s testing out a bathtub prop for ‘Seussical the Musical’ or preparing a lesson that will reach even her toughest students, Emily is all in on the task. Every day she dedicates seemingly endless hours to her students, her classroom, and her school. Her selfless approach and relentless effort is what makes Emily an important part of the Mapleton Elementary family, which makes it one of the best schools in the state of Utah. It’s my pleasure to share observations I’ve made as a parent, a PTA president, and a substitute teacher.
“As a parent of a former student in Emily’s class and as a frequent visitor to the school, I’ve had the opportunity to drop in and spontaneously observe and participate in her lessons. Emily’s attention to detail is apparent in her delivery and presentation. She is engaging and patient and shows a genuine concern for her students and desire for them to learn and progress. It has often been said that Emily isn’t afraid of hard work (or dark hallways), as she often stays late into the evening preparing lesson plans and materials for her classroom. Emily demands a lot from her students, but also prepares a path for them to succeed. As a fourth-grade teacher, she does an excellent job of preparing them for the higher demands of the next grade levels. Her influence and support also extends past the classroom. This past fall, I was attending my daughter’s soccer game; and she was also in attendance cheering on some of her students playing in the game as well.
“Teaching during this pandemic has been a challenge in many ways for our educators. Our students at Mapleton Elementary have been blessed with the opportunity to meet in person daily with their wonderful teachers since school began in August. Tensions have been high as our teachers have strived to avoid the spread of COVID-19. They, themselves, have desired to stay healthy, not only because of the potentially disastrous health effects of the virus, but because they hate missing school and being away from their students. At one point this year, we had various teachers in quarantine; and during that time, I was substitute teaching for one of those teachers. I came upon a discussion between Emily and another teacher who had just found out that one of her students had tested positive and would need to quarantine. She feared that she might have contracted the virus and was in tears and very concerned about what would happen next. Emily comforted this teacher and told her not to worry, that she would talk to the principal and help her out with whatever she needed. She was a calming influence and a leader at a time when it was truly invaluable to this young teacher.
“I have known for a long time that Emily Blaisdell was the electronics guru at the school, and many relied on her technical expertise. Whenever we’ve set up for an assembly or an activity that required any kind of technological assistance, Emily was always willing to help. While substituting for a sixth-grade teacher earlier this year, I started having trouble with the projector. When I told one of the other teachers, they said without equivocation to seek out Emily. She helped diagnose and fix the problem. Ultimately, it’s not just her skills, but her willingness to step in and help whenever needed. I’ve also heard others sing her praise for the extra support they receive from her and the value she adds on an almost daily basis.
“When we have a PTA activity or fundraiser, Emily has always been one of the first to volunteer. Last year, she dressed up as Princess Elizabeth and read one of her favorite books, ‘The Paper Bag Princess’ for our literacy night fundraiser activity. When we were putting together a PTA music video and needed teachers to sing, she successfully led the recruiting effort. Emily willingly gives of her time no matter the task because she understands the value of the PTA and the difference that it makes in education and the lives of her students.
“Emily clearly demonstrates her commitment to education through her ongoing dedication to her students, her classroom, her fellow teachers, her school, and partners like the PTA. She embodies all the best qualities expected of an exceptional teacher.
Congratulations Emily Blaisdell for being a Nebo Hero!
Photo: Superintendent Rick Nielsen, PTA Member, PTA President Jason Nackos, Principal Julie Peery, Emily Blaisdell, Region 10 PTA President Joann Brown, PTA Members, School Board President Christine Riley
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