Our next recipient is Sue Hospelhorn Jon’s 5th grade teacher at Northpoint. She was so excited on his first day of 5th grade that she was actually jumping up and down shouting that she was going to get another “Miskulin”. She taught Math and Social Studies and found a way to get Jon to love them, too. Sue was in charge of the Safety Patrol and despite my fear that Jon would get run over, as an over protective mother, she insisted that he serve and he grew in confidence.

He was selected to be the 5H student council representative and he took the job very seriously. Our dinner conversations sounded like he was serving at the United Nations. History was so difficult for Jon because memorizing dates and locations seemed almost impossible but she found a way to take that true suffering and turn it into success because she knew his heart. One of her fondest memories of Jon was wearing his Civil War Yankee cap and singing all the songs with such delight.

He would return to Northpoint for school carnivals and she would see him at NCHS football games and stayed long into the night at his high school graduation party watching his video and catching up. Sue Hospelhorn actually gave me the greatest gift that 5th grade year because she taught me to let go, to trust that Jon could succeed and to let him fail, when necessary.

Mrs. Hospelhorn gave Jon the gift of maturity and for that we are proud to acknowledge her with our 2014 H.E.A.L Foundation HERO AWARD.

A teacher finds that there are just some classes that are so special and so unique because they truly become a family. Jon was a member of our 5H family as a fifth grader at Northpoint Elementary School. From the first day his contagious smile lit up our classroom. Jon knew he had to work hard and that strong work ethic carried him far. I was so proud to have him represent our class in Student Council. A favorite memory of mine is his enthusiasm for our Civil War simulation. He proudly wore that hat and sang the songs with joy. We had so much fun learning together, building that comradery, and creating memories.

My thoughts then jump to Jon’s high school graduation party. That was certainly the red carpet event of the season! I will never forget Jon’s excited greeting to me as he held my arm and said. “Mrs. Hospelhorn, come see. You made the video!” We sat and talked as we watched the pictures scroll across the screen. Jon filled me in on the years since fifth grade. I was pretty amazed that on this night he would take the time to just talk. A hero creates those special moments without even realizing it. That’s Jon, our true hero!

Sue Hospelhorn