ROCHESTER, Minn. - Terri Lutes teaches kindergartners who have autism at Jefferson Elementary school. "Teaching the kids I work with, many of them don't talk so hearing their first word or them getting across to me about something that they want for the first time is very exciting," she explains.
Mrs. Lutes and her paraprofessional Karen Lambrecht have been a team for 17 years. Lambrecht nominated Lutes for the award.
"I've seen so many gains and strengths in all of the children that we've worked with especially with her education and her knowledge," says Lambrecht.
The duo not only teach their students, but also learn from each other.
"Karen and I have a really special bond, friendship and para teacher bond. It's very special coming from her," says Lutes.
"She's a wonderful person and she's a wonderful co-worker," adds Lambrecht.