IDAHO SPRINGS - You can feel it when you walk in her classroom. It's filled with compassion and love - not only for teaching, but for the well being of each and every student.
Heather Huntoon is 9NEWS' November 9 Teacher's Who Care Winner.
She has been teaching for 15 years in the Clear Creek School District. She currently teaches first grade at Carlson Elementary school in Idaho Springs.
"I love watching students blossom. I love watching them grow and develop into learners and they make me laugh," Heather Huntoon said.
Her students love her but it goes way beyond that.
"I nominated Heather for her passion for the student and for learning. You can sense it when you go into her room," Mary Cain, School Nurse at Carlson Elementary, said. "About year ago, she came to me concerned about a student that wasn't getting his basic needs at home."
One of Huntoon's students was always hungry and sometimes stealing food from other kids. Turns out he wasn't getting the proper amount of food at home and was starving when he came to school on Monday after a weekend at home.
"I had a student that just touched my heart. I was unaware I didn't realize there was a hunger issue," Huntoon said.
Since then, she has made it her mission to make sure no student goes hungry.
"It turned into this wonderful program that were able to have at Carlson Elementary School. Every Friday, students that have been identified take home a grocery bag of food to get them through the weekend and it's starting to spread district wide," Cain said.
Huntoon credits the entire school staff for the success of the program and continues to be a role model for students and teachers alike.
"[I'm] overwhelmed ... humbled. I did not realize someone thought so highly of me," Huntoon said.
"I would just say that we're very lucky to have her in our district. I think that the empathy and the overall person she's able to bring to the student is just wonderful asset and congratulations her," Cain said.
To nominate a teacher you know who is outstanding and having a huge impact on the lives of children, visit our page devoted to 9Teachers Who Care: http://on9news.tv/fMZBL3.
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