Jaxon Galvan, a Prosper Independent School District first grader with autism, became an honorary police officer on Friday during a police pinning ceremony at Hughes Elementary School.
Officers from McKinney and Prosper police departments, teachers and parents attended the ceremony. Jaxon’s teacher Natalie Nuttall said she found a motivator to help Jaxon succeed in school — his love for police officers.
“I tried to find … something to work for, something to give him confidence, and found out the day that (PISD School Resource) Officer Falwell walked in, his (Jaxon’s) face lit up like it was Christmas, and that was it,” Nuttall said. “He loves police officers.”
Nuttall’s Social Emotional Teaching classroom helps students with social and emotional needs. Nuttall began working with Jaxon during the summer. After learning about his love for police officers, Nuttall created an incentive chart. Every “green choice” Jaxon made would earn him a star. Once he racked up enough stars, he would receive police officer-related items for his good behavior.
“Jaxon would receive something that made him closer to becoming a police officer,” Nuttall said. “The first week he got handcuffs, the second week: sunglasses. The third and fourth weeks, a badge, so it’s developed for nine weeks.”
Christopher Galvan, Jaxon’s father, said Jaxon’s behavior and attitude has improved immensely since working with Nuttall.
“(The ceremony has) been pretty emotional actually,” Christopher Galvan said. “Miss Natalie, his teacher, has been a blessing from God. She has found something that motivates him and driven him towards that goal, and the child he is today versus six months ago is night and day. He’s really blossomed into a very social young boy when he used to be very introverted and quiet.”
When Jaxon started in Nuttall’s SET classroom, he was spending 100 percent of his day with her. Now Jaxon spends 90 percent of his school day in the general education classroom.
“I don’t ever want him to forget this day because this day is not about anybody but him, and what I want him to bring out of this is that when you work hard, good things happen,” Nuttall said. “When you follow the rules, you feel success. When you give 100 percent, you feel like 100 percent. I want him to walk away from this feeling like he’s something special.”