Mrs. Russell with Ken and Russ

On Friday the 13th this March, Ridgeline Elementary teacher Sherrie Russell received an unexpected though not unpleasant surprise: a $250 gift card with an award recognizing her exceptional dedication as a teacher.

Instead of visits from black cats or broken mirrors, Mrs. Russell received a visit from the local law firm Christensen & Hymas who presented her with the Supplies for Success Teaching Award.

Inspiring Imagination in Learning

An imaginative teacher, Mrs. Russell uses her creativity to engage her fourth graders and show them that every subject can be exciting.  In order to keep her history lessons not only relevant but fun, Mrs. Russell literally brings the past to life through classroom plays and activities.

Mrs. Russell also finds little ways to fuel her students’ imagination every day.  “Mrs. Russell is the best teacher ever because every month we get to vote on what shape or design our desks go in. Then, we get to pick where we want to sit (as long as we behave!),” said one of her students, Kylee Christensen.

Mrs. Russell's Creative Students

And there is no doubt Mrs. Russell’s students make the most out of this creative license. March’s desk design featured a pool table with an eight ball in the middle and little pockets branching off.

“It’s so easy to love teaching because my students are amazing and so much fun,” Mrs. Russell said.  “We just have such a fun time.”

Luck (even ill-fated luck) had very little to do with Mrs. Russell’s good fortune on this mysterious and myth-infused holiday.  All the credit for this award goes to her exceptional dedication to her students.

“I’ve seen firsthand the difference Mrs. Russell has made in all her students’ lives,” said Ken Christensen, a partner of Christensen & Hymas.  “She is amazing at stretching their minds and doing so many little programs—like shooting for hoops and class plays—to keep learning fun.”

Giving Back to Exceptional Teachers

In 2011, Ken Christensen and Russ Hymas learned that teachers in Utah spend over $500 out of pocket for school supplies each year.  Because of this, they decided to start the Supplies for Success Teaching Award to help offset those costs and recognize wonderful teachers, like Mrs. Russell.

Ken Giving Mrs. Russell the Award

Since then, Christensen & Hymas has continued highlighting noteworthy teachers in Salt Lake, Utah, and Davis County every month, providing them with $250 to spend on supplies for their students.  With nearly 100 recipients so far, the Supplies for Success Teaching Award has helped to promote teacher appreciation and better education in the community.

To nominate a teacher or for more information about this award, visit