"Jennifer (Jenn) is a pre-k special education teacher at Kittrell. She worked for 17 years at AEA. When they closed Castle Hill a layoff by seniority was implemented and Jenn was laid off. My granddaughter, Desiree, was diagnosed with Autism and mild MR/ID. We have custody of her due to abuse by her parents. She started in Jennifer's class at the old Valley Park School in Cedar Falls when she was 3 years old. At the time Desiree was non-verbal, withdrawn, non social, throwing herself down with tantrums, etc. Jenn guided Desiree with love, patience and wonderful teaching skills to bring her out to where she could learn. She started her out with the picture system of learning. She had speech therapy and more. When Jenn was laid off she got a job at Kittrell. Knowing that change was hard for Desiree and that consistency was vital, she put in the appropriate paperwork to request Desiree be assigned to her at Kittrell. Fortunately it was approved and Desiree was assigned to her pre-k class at Kittrell. Desiree is in her 2nd year of education with Jenn and is now talking, communicating, counting, pretend playing, and is a social butterfly spreading her wings. Jenn uses special techniques and is very innovative with all her students. To work with Desiree on her sensory skills Jenn braids her hair in different ways. As the mother of 3 wonderful boys Jenn says she enjoys braiding Desiree's hair and it helps Desiree in learning to sit quietly and with her sense of touch. Jenn has formed a lasting bond with Desiree because of her love for the children she works with and her compassion. It takes a special person to work with our special children and she is that special person and deserves to be the teacher of the week."