Everyone has that one teacher they will always remember as exceptional. Whether it be for a myriad of small reasons, or an extraordinary sacrifice, those teachers always have a special place in our hearts. For Brodie Rawson, a second-grader the commitment his teacher Sharon Gallo-Dunn showed to him would be unforgettable.
Gallo-Dunn has been teaching at Shawsheen Elementary school in Wilmington, Massachusetts, for 21 years, and believes deeply in what it means to be a teacher.
“To me, children and families are the foundation of our society and our world,” Gallo-Dunn said according to the Lowell Sun.
“We need to protect them and nurture them and teachers try to do their part in that. So, if we can make a difference, I think that’s our job besides math and reading,” she said.
This strong commitment to her students was why she, even after being diagnosed with cancer in 2015 and undergoing 10 subsequent chemotherapy treatments, made sure to visit her class throughout the school year to check up on them. Throughout this arduous journey, this teacher stayed humble and dedicated.
“We always hope to make a difference in a kid’s life. That’s why you teach,” Gallo-Dunn said.
Brodie was lucky to be in Gallo-Dunn’s class. Brodie was also diagnosed with cancer, and was admitted to Tuft’s Floating Hospital for treatment. When the call went out from the school looking for tutors, Gallo-Dunn answered immediately.
The next day she called Brodie’s mom and got permission to see Brodie at the hospital. And so, Gallo-Dunn, while still on her medical leave began tutoring young Brodie in the hospital.
Brodie, thankfully, made a full recovery, but that did not stop the committed teacher. She continued to tutor him throughout the next summer to help him get ready for 3rd grade.
Gallo-Dunn is known around her school as a teacher who fosters a community spirit, which is why Lisa King, principal of Shawsheen Elementary School, was not surprised that she offered to help Brodie despite her own illness.
“She’s just a very kind, very sweet and thoughtful teacher and colleague. She’s just always there whenever anybody needs anything inside and outside of school,” said King according to the Lowell Sun.
Recognized for their courage
The two cancer fighters were then pleasantly surprised when the school was visited by Cops for Kids with Cancer, a group that holds rallies and donates money to children diagnosed with cancer.
On June 15th Cops for Kids with Cancer visited Shawsheen Elementary school and after awarding Brodie with a check for $5000, they gave a shout-out to his teacher.
The officers presented Gallo-Dunn with flowers, and thanked her for her commitment to Brodie. Her coworkers prepared a statement that made Gallo-Dunn choke up with tears.
“When I’m toothless in the home, I’m going to remember this day,” she said. She then turned to Brodie and continued to shower him with praise.
“Hopefully, the courage that you showed last year will help everybody when they’re in a rough time, say ‘I’m going to be brave about this,’ and stick together like the family of the Shawsheen school,” she said.
Now that’s a teacher to remember for life!
Watch the event below: