As a way of recognizing our amazing Minnesota teachers, we began an award this year to select one teacher as our Teacher of the Year. Nominations were invited to coincide with National Teacher Appreciation Week, May 2nd-6th. We received over 80 amazing nominations and from the nominations a winner was drawn.
The winner was Julie Robinson, autism specialist at Valley View Middle School, Edina public schools. We are honored to recognize Julie for her work with special needs children.
If you’d like to watch the video of the award presentation you can click here, otherwise a full transcript of the nomination can be found below.
I felt that I must write a letter regarding Julie Robinson, Autism Specialist, and let you know what
a true treasure she is and to highlight what an incredible asset she is for the Edina school system. As a parent of a child with autism attending Valley View Middle School, I can tell you that our educational struggles as a family are often difficult – but Ms. Robinson has made an incredible difference both for my son and for me.
Ms. Robinson is to be commended for her superior knowledge regarding Autism Spectrum Disorders and has been a stellar educator and advocate for my son. I can tell you that this is a rarity, and Edina Public Schools is to be commended for the wisdom they displayed in hiring her. Autism is a vast and nebulas disability – and confusing for many people to understand (including regular education teachers!). However, Ms. Robinson has helped my son’s special education team set clear educational goals and come to a better understanding of his disability; she has served as an educator for his teachers in the regular education classes he is able to attend, has advocated for all his necessary and crucial educational supports, and worked more than diligently to create a successful learning environment where my son is able to make progress. I am confident that my son’s progress this year is due to her efforts.
I hold my son’s other special education team members and regular education teachers in high
regard, but I can tell you that Ms. Robinson is a cut above. She is the first to respond to my phone calls and emails when I have concerns, she deals with my questions promptly, and is exceptional in her follow through. And while I know the other teachers are committed to education, she is more than outstanding when it comes to her commitment to my son and to other students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. I know this because I’ve had 13 years of experience in the schools systems in which I have been employed and in the school systems my son has attended before attending Edina – I cannot tell you what a difference Ms. Robinson has made for us and how impressed we have been with her both her expertise as an educator of children with Autism and with the caring she displays when working with his team and us a family.
Please include this letter of commendation in Ms. Robinson’s personnel file if appropriate – she is
truly a remarkable educator and individual – and I thank the Edina Public Schools for having the foresight to hire such an incredible teacher.