Trucker Buddies, Al and Kym Hemerson nominated their teacher, Mrs. Barbara Swalina, a first grade teacher from North Glendale Elementary School, located in Kirkwood, Missouri as an Outstanding Teacher. Barbara has been in the Trucker Buddy organization for the past 12 years. They have been matched for over 6 years.
Al and Kym discuss why they feel she deserves the award.
Mrs. Swalina and her husband have welcomed us as guests into
their home as well as their lives. They have contributed in assisting
us in getting special treats for the students over the past years. We
are able to communicate with the students not only through postcards
and letters, also through the use of the telephone; Mrs. Swalina has
allowed us access and interact with the class. While maintaining and
instructing within the parameters of her curriculum, she has gone
above and beyond the set outlined goal.
Even maintaining the full curriculum she has gone above
and beyond the set goal.
Mrs. Swalina has been educating for the past 21 years.
She has taught curriculum for First grade through the Fourth
grade. We have witnessed the inspiration she has bestowed
in her students, in her writing curriculum, best exemplified in
one of her former students publishing a paperback book, the
book is titled “Thrice“, by Madaline Wolfe. Mrs. Swalina was
recognized in the author’s acknowledgement in the book. Having moved her career from 4th to 1st grade teaching we have been able to witness the interaction with previous students before and after school. She has taught special needs students and gifted students alike.
During the school year she has contributed her time and efforts in establishing avenues to access the program “Coats for Kids”; thus allowing her the opportunity to help purchase winter gear for some of the less fortunate students. Donating her time in her busy schedule she partakes with the parent or parents to find a suitable coat for the children.
Many of the incoming students and their parents request participation in Mrs. Swalina’s class. They not only want the great learning skills that Mrs. Swalina instills in them, but they are also very excited about the Trucker Buddy organization that she participates in.
A pioneering example of how she works with us is, one of the student's that was in Mrs. Swalina’s class at the beginning of the 2011 school year; job placement for her parents required that they move to Indiana; throughout the school year we continued to include her in the postcards and activities involving Trucker Buddy. In anticipation of our arrival visit, Mrs. Swalina notified the young student’s parents. They were scheduled to be in the St. Louis area at that time, thus bringing their daughter along, and escorting her to the school so that she was included in the day’s activities. Along with them many of the student’s parents attended the activities of the day.
We have had the opportunity to witness former students involved in her class greet her with a cheerful hug and hello. Then she sends them our way. She always takes time to ask if they remember us.
So we sincerely and respectively submit this nomination for the Trucker Buddy Outstanding Teacher Award, on behalf of her students and former students and our participation as Trucker Buddy with Mrs. Swalina, for a job “Well done”.