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Emotional surprise for local kindergarten teacher



Peoria, Ill. (HOI) –

Teachers often impact students more than words can explain. That’s exactly what one local mom has to say about the kindergarten teacher who has taught two of her children. 

Michelle Krumholz nominated Ashlei Steffan for Heart of Illinois ABC’s One Class at a Time grant in response to the time and dedication she put into the two young kids, both with autism. The surprise brought tears from both parties.

“Austism can bring a lot. It can be challenges and some struggles and the key is finding the right people”, said Krumholz.

Surprise Steffan

The right people for her kids were at Wilder Waite Grade School. 

“We work together and we pushed Max last year hard, we pushed him outside of his comfort zone and we’ve see the rewards and what its done for him”, said Krumholz.

The rewards were felt across the board.

“I can’t really put that into words. Obviously as a teacher I want to make an impact everyday… and to know that as a parent they are seeing that when their child comes home. Even considered the nomination… words can’t really express that”, said Steffan.

Not being able to put it in words, it was the common theme for the day.

“I just seems like when teacher or therapist or person has done so much for you it just seems like there just isn’t enough words you can write on a little card on a thank you note” said Krumholz.

While Steffan does already have a few sensory items in her classroom,. with the $1,000 grant she hopes to get more to build a full sensory style classroom.

“Well I did tell the kiddos they could have a little say in some things but I have been writing grants trying to build a sensory type classroom. Now that I have the money… I’m like ‘oh it’s all here’, let’s see what we can get”, said Steffan.

Steffan says sensory items like special seating and kinetic sand can help every kid because movement is also apart of learning.





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