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First time kindergarten teacher reflects on extraordinary year

Published: Jun. 30, 2020 at 5:03 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -For nearly a year first time kindergarten teacher Stephanie Cresta has been our focus. From designing her classroom in August of 2019 to helping her students achieve the next level academically and enter first grade, she gave it her all.

Then the coronavirus hit.

She remains positive and has only positive memories of her first year as a kindergarten teacher.

“It is a big deal for me,” Stephanie told us in August 2019 before classes began. “Because what they learn here is the foundation for every other grade they are going to be in,” she said. Later in the second month of the 2020 with roughly five months to go, she felt confident her class was making progress.

Then the coronavirus hit. “I was just, like what can I do where they are still getting something,” she said. “So, I just found little activities to do with them on Zoom meetings,” says Stephanie. Not an easy task.

She says she really missed seeing the children every day, and saying goodbye in the afternoon. “When they came to pick up their things, I had one student in particular who came to give me a hug, and I said no I can’t,” she says of the last day she saw her students in person. “She just looked so sad. Her mom said she is sad because she can’t hug you. And I said I am so sorry,” says Stephanie. She says the kids parents stepped up with projects at home and sent her pictures.

She believes her students are ready for the first grade in a couple of months.

She says they are in the very capable hands of first grade teachers at Smithridge. “Most of them are coming here next year. And I said I will be here in the classroom and you can see me whenever you want,” says Stephanie.

Stephanie says she will definitely be back next year for her second year of kindergarten--no matter what form it will take.

That is up to the Washoe County School District.

Copyright 2020 KOLO. All rights reserved.

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