LOCAL NEWS

An elementary school comes together to support a Ukrainian teacher

Mar 29, 2022, 5:25 PM | Updated: Jun 18, 2022, 8:37 pm

WEST JORDAN, Utah— The images and news of what’s happening in Ukraine brings a lot of emotion and heartache for an elementary teacher in West Jordan who is Ukrainian.

Olena Bradford teaches third grade at Riverside Elementary School. But students would never know the pain and heartache she’s experiencing over her concern for her homeland and for those she loves who are still there. Including her brother who is blind and refusing to leave.

“I’m devastated it’s very hard emotionally,” said a teary Bradford to KSL. “He lived for so many years in his own house he has his garden animals. Can you imagine how can I leave [he says].”But despite all of her emotional pain of what’s happening in Ukraine, Bradford says she can’t let that distract her from her teaching duties.

“My students need me. They need a teacher. They need a person who cares about their learning and helping them,” she said.

One of the main reasons why Bradford says she’s strong is because of the incredible love and support she’s getting from fellow teachers and staff at the school.

Which included a surprise event with Ukrainian music, food, colors and flags.

“I just walked in and I see everything and people were dressed Ukrainian colors that day. Really touching, really caring, and I was thinking is it all for just me,” said Bradford.

“She’s one of the bravest people I know. Always thinks about us, about everyone else,” said Kathy Wride, at teacher at the school. “She just needs to feel that we are there for her. It’s as simple as saying I love you and we care about you.”

“She’s an amazing teacher, she puts her students first you almost can’t tell something is going on in her home country,” said Mike Trimmell the principal for Riverside Elementary School. “She exemplifies and exudes resilience and that’s something we are trying to teach our students.”Olena is overwhelmed with the daily love and support.

“They would just say remember you are not alone, all of that helps me to go several hours a day and come the next day and do the best I can as a teacher,” said Bradford.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

(KSL TV)...
Casey Scott, KSL TV

#walkTODAY Wednesday with Casey Scott at Daybreak

Casey Scott was out walking Wednesday morning in Daybreak along with producer Sam from 103.5 FM The Arrow as part of our 30-day #walkTODAY challenge.
10 hours ago
...
Andrew Adams

Family members remember Utah woman killed in Idaho crash

Family members on Tuesday were remembering a Utah woman killed in a weekend crash that also left her father critically injured. 
1 day ago
Utah Rep. Burgess Owens. (Steve Griffin, Deseret News)...
LINDSAY WHITEHURST and SAM METZ Associated Press

All 4 Utah House incumbents win GOP primaries

All four members of the U.S. House from Utah defeated Republican primary challengers Tuesday.
1 day ago
U.S. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) leaves the U.S. Capitol on April 25, 2022 in Washington, DC. The Senate r...
SAM METZ and LINDSAY WHITEHURST, Associated Press

Sen. Mike Lee fends off 2 opponents to win Utah GOP primary

Sen. Mike Lee has won Utah’s Republican primary by fending off attacks from two challengers who didn’t vote for former President Donald Trump in 2020.
1 day ago
The suspect of a bank robbery at Brighton Bank in South Salt Lake. (Credit: South Salt Lake Police)...
Michael Houck

South Salt Lake police search for bank robbery suspect

South Salt Lake police are searching for a suspect involved in a bank robbery that happened Tuesday,
1 day ago
Michael Carpenter (left) and Blake Shumway (right) were killed in a plane crash Friday morning in C...
Alex Cabrero

Family members remember, honor two USU plane crash victims

Family members of Michael Carpenter and Blake Shumway — who were killed in a plane crash Friday morning in Cache County — say they never thought a week ago that they would be planning funerals.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
An elementary school comes together to support a Ukrainian teacher