News From Terre Haute, Indiana


September 25, 2013

READERS' FORUM: Sept. 25, 2013

Appreciation for heroic efforts at Rio Grande

I’m probably not telling Vigo County schools superintendent Danny Tanoos anything he doesn’t already know, but just had to take a moment to compliment some of his staff.

The teachers and administrators at Rio Grande Elementary are the most exemplary group of educators I have ever met. They go above and beyond on a daily basis and make what would be a struggle feel so much easier, just by being there for us.

Let me explain.

My daughter, Addison, has epilepsy. She has had it since she was 2. She takes several different strong medicines to control her seizures. Because of the medicines she takes, Addison struggles a little in school. She even gets special instruction. So there are a lot of people involved in Addi’s education. I can’t stress this enough that, they are all fantastic. To combat the medication problems, we decided to start a very strict, medically administered diet that may reduce or even cure Addi’s seizures. It is an extremely difficult diet to follow at home let alone somewhere we couldn’t control what she eats.

The staff at Rio Grande has been there to support us the whole way. They have been patient and accommodating. They spent many hours that I’m sure weren’t on the clock to make this transition smooth. Having teachers who care that much is a true blessing to us. It would be easy for someone like my daughter to fall through the cracks.

But thanks to Sherri Long, Joy Jackson, Cassie Ellis, Susan Shackleford and too many others to name, she loves her school and looks forward to going every day. They approach their role as teachers like my wife and I approach our roles as parents. They give it their all, heart and soul. I don’t have to worry when I watch my child board the bus in the mornings, and that means everything to me.

Addison wants to be a teacher when she grows up. I believe it’s because she sees her teachers as heroes. I do, too.

— Daniel Smiddy

Terre Haute


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