LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Bonnie Olson

Position: Speech and Language Pathologist
School: Rio Elementary School
School District: Rio Community School District
City, State: Rio, WI

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Bonnie Olson was nominated by Staci Reddeman, the parent of a student.

Ms. Olson gives every child the specific attention they deserve, and has not only changed the life of Staci Reddeman, but her son, Paxton, as well.

Paxton was deaf for the first year and half of his life. It went undiagnosed because he had clear fluid preventing him from hearing. After his surgery, Reddeman and her husband immediately noticed an entirely new child. Although the surgery was successful, Paxton was unable to speak intelligibly.  

"It was a blessing to be a stay-at-home mother, and to have the resources so Paxton could be seen by both the school and a medical professional," Reddeman said. "After long discussions and enough time, my husband and I concluded that Bonnie was the best and only fit for Paxton. Almost immediately after they started working together, we noticed a change...Paxton was comfortable. Meanwhile, I got to learn about Bonnie's story."

Ms. Olson lost her husband shortly after having their fourth child. When Reddeman asked her how she managed to raise her four children, Ms. Olson said that her faith led the way. She is an amazing teacher, mother, and example of how someone can achieve anything, even when life is against you. 

"Bonnie is the warmest, most sincere person," Reddeman said. "Above and beyond that, her willingness to strive to be her best really leaves me speechless, absolutely no pun intended. I felt like life was against Paxton ever since he was born. Because of the difference she has made and the hills she had to climb personally, Bonnie is the beacon I look up to. She really is a diamond in a very rural vicinity."



Comments (1)


Eric Olson Posted over a year ago

I concur with this nomination for Bonnie wholeheartedly. Her passion for education and commitment to the community are exemplary. Her faith has always served as a model for our family. Bonnie's literal and figurative approach to Individual Education Plans has changed lives. We wish Bonnie all the best in her planned retirement where she can use her gifts to serve others in new and creative ways.