Ms. Kesterson is a teacher that changed my son’s 2019 school year. When my little guy entered 1st grade he lacked confidence in his academics, and struggled with day to day tasks in class. As one of the youngest in his class he was what you would call a handful. Ms. K didn’t care, and never saw him as that. She welcomed him with open arms, a heart of gold, and the patience of a saint. She took the time to give him the social emotional support that all little kids need. She focused on his emotional needs, and then started to work her magic with academics. In education, teachers are forced to focus on academics more than the emotional development of a child. Ms. K knows what’s important, and makes sure that all of her students are safe, loved and praised. In a short time, I immediately saw improvement in his academics. He learned how to focus on his work, and gained confidence. He even started to give Ms. K praise with their class cheer- Let’s give Ms. K a Top Dog-WOOF! When the pandemic hit America in March, my son was devastated. He didn’t think he would ever see Ms. K again, or get another hug from her. Her students are very important to her and every week she called my son for a video chat. She also set up virtual meetings with all the students in her class. Ms. K deserves this award because she truly loves her job, and each of her students. I’ve been a teacher for 15 years, and I have never met a teacher like Ms. K. She truly is one of a kind.