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Grandmother is granddaughter's first-grade teacher at Panther Lake Elementary

Kris Hutter will teach her granddaughter Zoe Moore this year at Panther Lake Elementary. - Kyra Low/The Mirror
Kris Hutter will teach her granddaughter Zoe Moore this year at Panther Lake Elementary.
— image credit: Kyra Low/The Mirror

If Zoe Moore was considered a “teacher’s pet,” there would be few that would hold it against her.

Zoe is the granddaughter of Panther Lake Elementary first grade teacher Kris Hutter, and is in Hutter’s class this year.

Hutter said she was worried about it before the first day.

“I really thought about it,” Hutter said. “I talked to my daughter. I went through a lot of turmoil. I didn’t take it lightly.”

Hutter found a lot of encouragement from fellow teachers and former Panther Lake principal Rudy Baca, who is currently principal at Sunnycrest Elementary.

Baca taught his son, and told Hutter she had to have Zoe in her class. Teachers place their students in their next year’s class, and Zoe’s kindergarten teacher really wanted to place Zoe in Hutter’s class.

“They said, ‘If it won’t bother your relationship with Zoe, I would do it,’” Hutter said.

So after a lot of thought, Hutter agreed to have Zoe in her class.

There are a few special rules for Zoe in her class with Hutter.

For starters, she has to call her teacher Ms. Hutter, not “Baba,” her name for her grandma.

“After school, she can call me Baba,” Hutter said.

Most of Zoe’s classmates, who were also her classmates last year, already know about their relationship. Last year, when Hutter’s classroom was right next door to the kindergarten classroom, she was told constantly by kindergartners that she was “Zoe’s Grandma.”

But what’s the best part about having your grandma as your teacher?

“I get to be with you all day,” Zoe said.

“So you’ll like me, but then will you be sick of me by the end?” Hutter asked.

“Maybe,” Zoe answered.

Another benefit is that Hutter knows Zoe’s learning level after working with her on reading and writing over the summer.

But now that the first day is done, Hutter’s concerns are put to rest.

“I wasn’t worried about a ‘teacher’s pet,’” Hutter said. “I was worried I would be too hard on her. But I think I treated her exactly the same. I have a heart for all these kids. The academics are equal. It doesn’t mean I won’t feel different about her, but I try not to have teacher’s pets in my classroom.”

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