Mrs. Roxi Withee
Kindergarten at Zion Lutheran School, Rapid City
When you walk into Mrs. Withee’s classroom, her class of 18 students are eagerly waiting to start their day. From watching live eagle cams and building prisms and snowflakes to writing letters to their elderly friends from West Hills South – Roxi’s class is full of excitement.
“Her students have fun while learning academic subjects,” explained Principal Ann Solinksy, “as well as learning social skills. She is truly a teacher who teaches the mind and the heart.”
Beginning her teaching legacy in 1977, Roxi taught grades one through four for five years before switching to kindergarten. Now she has the pleasure of teaching her past students’ own children – second and even third generations of families.
“I can tell you that little boys don’t appreciate me calling them by their mom’s name,” laughed Roxi, “but sometimes I just slip up! They forgive me, though.”
A day in a class of young children is noisy, busy, and fun – and is never the same from day to day.
“The best thing about teaching kindergarten is their exuberance for life,” said Roxi. “Little ones enjoy all facets of learning, and I find it a privilege to introduce them to so many things.”
One of those introductions taught is being comfortable at school. A new student came into Roxi’s class extremely shy and not wanting to talk – although he talked often at home. “After about a week, this boy began to whisper quietly into Mrs. Withee’s ear,” said Melissa Werner, the lunch director at Zion Luthern. By the second week, he was looking forward to going to school.
“Mrs. Withee doesn’t just teach,” explained Trisha Miller, another parent to one of Roxi’s students, “she hugs, she encourages, she protects, and she loves.”
“Life happens here,” said Roxi. Students in her class become a family – with Mrs. Withee leading the way.
By Jenna Carda
Photos by Legacy