Howard resident Donna Buss presented special education teachers Teri Kraemer and Reta Martinez with a check for $500 from the Colorado Springs Down Syndrome Association May 7 at the Cotopaxi High School Awards Banquet.
In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, the Colorado Springs Down Syndrome Association presented 10 $500 scholarships to teachers who have had a positive impact on the life of a child with Down syndrome.
Darren and Donna Buss, whose 10-year-old daughter, Kelsey, has Down syndrome, nominated Kraemer and Martinez for the scholarship.
“Due to Mrs. Kraemer’s desire and ability to have Kelsey completely involved with her classmates, to this day she is looked upon as an equal peer and is accepted and respected by not only her classmates, but by the entire staff and student body,” Donna Buss said.
The teachers may use the money for their department in any way they choose.
With so many budget cuts, Buss said, often teachers do not have any extra money, so when Kraemer and Martinez learned they received the money to use as they see fit, they both were excited. After the presentation of the check, the audience “went crazy” and gave the two teachers a standing ovation, she said.
The two teachers have not only had an impact on her daughter, Buss said, but they also have affected her. “We appreciate that Mrs. Kraemer and Ms. Reta have always been open to receiving our input when certain situations arise at school with Kelsey, making this feel like a team effort instead of a ‘them and us’ scenario,” she said.
Kraemer and Martinez have a positive impact on many kids, and those kids will carry that with them for the rest of their lives, Buss said.