Alyssa Larsen sur­prised by the Hunts­man Award for Ex­cel­lence in Ed­u­ca­tion

Serve Daily - - BUILDING COMMUNITY - By Lana Hiskey

On April 30, Karen Hunts­man sur­prised spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion teacher Alyssa Larsen at Span­ish Fork High School with the high­est teach­ing award be­stowed in the state of Utah: the Hunts­man Award for Ex­cel­lence in Ed­u­ca­tion. The award’s mission is to rec­og­nize, in­spire and re­ward the best teach­ers, school ad­min­is­tra­tors and vol­un­teers in Utah for con­tin­u­ally seek­ing ways to im­prove the qual­ity of ed­u­ca­tion in our public school sys­tem.

Span­ish Fork High School has an en­roll­ment of 1,240 stu­dents. Alyssa cur­rently has 13 spe­cial needs stu­dents and 52 peer tu­tors in her class­room. She also coaches the Span­ish Fork girls’ bas­ket­ball team. “Get­ting this award was truly shock­ing, and I still haven’t quite re­al­ized that it is real. I know some of the ed­u­ca­tors who have won the Hunts­man award. We never think when we are work­ing in this field that a re­ward like this will come our way. I truly feel blessed to have the op­por­tu­nity to work with the amaz­ing stu­dents I do ev­ery day, which made this award pos­si­ble in my life. It’s not ev­ery day we can find some­one who loves ev­ery as­pect of their job; but I re­ally do. The stu­dents, my co­work­ers, ad­min­is­tra­tion and par­ents, I love them all. I can­not thank them enough for play­ing a role in my be­ing hon­ored with this award,” said Larsen.

SFHS Prin­ci­pal Dave McKee said, “Soon af­ter hir­ing Alyssa, I re­al­ized that she is an ex­tra­or­di­nary in­di­vid­ual in won­der­ful ways. She gives in­di­vid­u­als a sense of worth and im­por­tance and en­cour­ages them through tri­als. Alyssa has shown her love and sup­port to many that truly needed ex­actly that in life.”

Larsen’s nom­i­na­tors in­clude Dusty Averett, Kippy Bishop, Dave McKee, Mar­garet Mill­stead, J. Lynn Jones, Shelly Bills and Julie Provst­gaard. The nom­i­na­tors wrote, “It is with­out a doubt that Alyssa is de­serv­ing. Her pas­sion in do­ing what she does has made many want to fol­low in her foot­steps. Her mag­netic per­son­al­ity and gen­uine con­cern for in­di­vid­u­als in her life sets her apart from her peers. Alyssa is a teacher, ad­vo­cate, con­fi­dant, cheer­leader, men­tor, coach, shoul­der to cry on, and a high five wait­ing to cel­e­brate even the small­est mile­stone. She at­tends wed­dings, mission farewells and fu­ner­als of stu­dents and for­mer stu­dents. Alyssa gives her all ev­ery sin­gle day.”

Nebo School Dis­trict Spe­cial Ed­u­ca­tion Direc­tor J. Lynn Jones stated, “Our dis­trict Spe­cial Needs Beauty Pageant be­gan with Alyssa’s sup­port. This event be­gan when one of her peer tu­tors was pur­su­ing ways to sup­port the spe­cial needs girls as a plat­form for her suc­cess­ful pur­suit of the Miss Span­ish Fork ti­tle. This pageant will be held for the sixth con­sec­u­tive year this spring. All girls are win­ners with crowns and sashes.”

Teacher Alyssa Larsen is sur­prised by Span­ish Fork High School Prin­ci­pal Dave McKee with the Hunts­man Award for Ex­cel­lence in Ed­u­ca­tion.

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