By Kim Johnson

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – This week’s Excellent Educator was nominated by her second grader, who said she is always there for her students.

“She’s nice, kind, funny, a good teacher,” Erik Nelson said.

Nelson’s teacher at Champlin-Brooklyn Park Academy for Math and Environmental Science, Mrs. Sally Pearson, never stops caring about her students, even when illness kept her away from school.

With the help of doctors she has made a comeback to the classroom and is stronger than ever.

That is what makes her this week’s Excellent Educator.

Pearson learned what it takes to be a teacher at a young age.

“I guess I kind of grew up in the profession,” Pearson said. “My mom retired as a teacher the year I became a teacher.”

It’s been a trying couple of months for Pearson and her students.

“My face started just burning,” she said.

She didn’t know what, but something caused her face to swell.

“I had to get a biopsy, so I came back with stiches in my face and a black eye. I think the kids were all really nervous and I tried to keep the parents calm as well,” she said.

For two weeks she couldn’t come to school. Doctors didn’t know what was wrong.

“I had to just surrender everything. I couldn’t be here,” she said.

With a husband and three young ones of her own at home, Pearson still thought about each one of her second graders.

“Being a mom myself I appreciate the communication and I didn’t want to them to worry,” Pearson said.

She regularly sent parents emails, updating them on her condition.

“We knew that it was pretty severe ,and still she wanted to make sure that parents knew she was thinking about the kids and she felt bad they were left behind,” Lili Nelson, a parent, said.

Doctors eventually decided suffered an allergic reaction, likely from mascara.

Back to health and back in the classroom, Pearson is right where she wants to be.


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