Trailside Elementary School teacher nominated for national award
Andrea Solum knew her son’s third grade teacher was a good one when he started coming home and saying he now had a favorite teacher. Five years later, his opinion hasn’t changed.
“Hands down, every time he talks about who his favorite teacher is, it is Krista Ingle,” Solum said.
For that reason, Solum recently nominated Ingle, a third grade teacher at Trailside Elementary School, for the national LifeChanger of the Year award. The award recognizes K-12 educators and district employees across the U.S. who have made a significant impact in students’ lives. Winners will be announced in the spring.
Solum, who teaches language arts at Ecker Hill Middle School, nominated Ingle because of the influence she had on her son, Robby Solum. He has obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety, and Andrea Solum said Ingle embraced his idiosyncrasies, such as asking lots of questions, and gave him confidence.
“Any kid that has any differences, she embraces the differences,” Solum said. “She goes above and beyond in everything and she is so positive always.”
Solum said she was considering pulling her son out of the public school system because he was having a hard time, but everything changed after he had Ingle. Solum saw her son become more positive about school, and he wanted to succeed.
“She was able to make him feel really special, instead of different,” Solum said.
Ingle said she recognizes that every student has a different way to learn, and she tries to alter her teaching styles or classroom layout based on the students’ needs. With Robby, for example, she sat down with him during his tests so he was not distracted by the classroom.
“Not every kid fits in that box, so if you can figure out what works, then you take that and go,” Ingle said.
Ingle said she learned about the different ways students learn from her background in special education. For the first 13 years of her 24 years in education, she taught special education. She started teaching at Trailside in 2002.
One of her favorite parts of being a teacher is watching each student learn in a unique way. When they have those “Aha” moments and everything clicks, that is when she is the happiest.
Solum said her son continues to bring up how much Ingle helped him, even though he had her as a teacher five years ago. When Solum heard about the LifeChanger of the Year award, she immediately knew who she wanted to nominate.
When Solum told Ingle that she had nominated her for the award, Ingle said she was humbled, because she knows how many great teachers there are in the Park City School District.
Solum said that other parents, students and educators can submit their own comments about Ingle.
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Compensation is the largest issue left on the table after a contract governing most every other aspect of teachers’ employment was negotiated earlier in June.