The EACS Board of School Trustees and Superintendent Hissong recognized two Southwick Elementary staff members who have gone above and beyond by helping a former student of SOEL and currently a 3rd grade at PCA.
This student has bone and muscle malformations and birth defects in his legs and hands. He came to the United States with his family as a kindergartner to get the support he needed to get surgeries. COVID hit and everything stopped and support for his future surgeries ceased from outside agencies. It didn’t mean he didn’t need the surgeries, in fact his condition worsened. His family became extremely worried and fearful about the surgeries and struggled to even want them for him. All progress to support him stopped. This is where Ms. Shirley Smith and Mrs. Lori Wilken stepped in!
Ms. Wilken went above and beyond to support this student’s family during COVID by providing tutoring support and next step help for his condition. Mrs. Wilken became a family friend and built trust with the student and his family. To support even more, Ms. Smith stepped in and set up appointments with Riley Children’s Hospital for his transportation to and from Indianapolis. Because of the tremendous fear the family had for the surgeries he needed, Ms. Smith and Mrs. Wilken went to the appointments with the family as support. They rode back and forth to Indianapolis on numerous occasions for appointments and out-patient procedures in preparation for his big surgery to gain mobility back in his leg.
Both ladies played huge roles in supporting the family during his big surgery in August. The surgery went well, and he is recovering!
Being an educator means that we go above and beyond for our students, but Mrs. Wilken and Ms. Smith went even beyond that, taking a family under their wings and giving a child the absolute best that any one person can offer: their time, their support, their advocacy, and their love.
Congratulations Ms. Smith and Mrs. Wilken for going above and beyond the call of duty!