BLUE MOUNTAIN • “Our school is small, and we don’t have a lot of money, but they have so much heart … Kerrie looks forward to going. She loves going to see everybody every day.”
Micki Smith said the teachers at Blue Mountain Elementary have been just amazing with the amount of support they have given her daughter, Kerrie Ann Cagle, who has a rare genetic disorder that makes it difficult for her to do things like walking and writing.
Kerrie’s great-grandmother, Ann Stagner, agreed that “Blue Mountain School is just wonderful … We’ve got such a small school, but such a good one.”
Since Kerrie started, the school has installed a ramp to make it easier for her to access the cafeteria. And because Kerrie loves unicorns, her fourth grade teacher, Cindy Elliott, drew unicorns to decorate her wheelchair for Halloween this year. As if that wasn’t enough, they also ordered special headphones (also decorated with unicorns) to help her because she is sensitive to loud noises.
“They go out of their way. Every one of them does,” Stagner said. Teachers give her extra time to do assignments because it’s not easy for her to write, and they’re also in the process of getting her a computer or tablet with a stylus to make it easier. Smith said that they have to have meetings on a regular basis, and her teachers take time out of their already busy schedules to attend them.
Her favorite subject is reading, Smith said. “She is a huge reader … She’s super smart.” She said Riley Bennett, who was Kerrie’s teacher last year, really went out of his way to find books that were at her reading level and that would interest her.
Another teacher who has been especially helpful is Cindy Elliott. “She’s with her every day, all day. She is like a mother hen with her … We appreciate them so, so much!” Smith said. “They help her with her confidence, of course. They make her feel like she’s ten feet tall.” She said Kerrie has been inspired and has dreams of eventually becoming a veterinarian.
“They love her; always have a smile on their faces. They’re a wonderful school,” Smith said. “How do you give back to people who are doing that for your children? How? You can’t give back. So I just want to recognize them for how much they’ve done for her.”