Heather English used to attend Dearing Elementary School. Now she teaches here. Her journey through life brought her right back to where it all started.

“It’s powerful,” English says. “Being here with my colleagues and our administration, we really are like a happy family. I truly believe that. We do the best that we can for our students. And at the end of the day, we love coming back the next day to work.”

Her second graders get to learn all sorts of lessons. When we stopped by, they were focused on 3D shapes, with a little exercise mixed in.

“This activity is just a fun way to get them moving, out of their seats, to practice identifying the shapes and to get a workout.”

There’s just a couple of slides that have the workout. Just to keep them engaged and interactive.”

Mrs. English is surrounded by family members who love her and lift her up when she’s not in the classroom.

They are like my whole support system. Between them and my colleagues. I’m also in school to get my masters degree, and I graduate in May. So without having my family to support me, especially my husband on the nights I don’t cook or do anything because of school. I really appreciate them.”

Mrs. English has a bright future. She gets her masters degree in May. But for now, it’s all about these bright young minds. And that’s more than enough to keep her motivated.

“The feeling of going to sleep at night and knowing that, when that alarm goes off sometimes it’s really hard to get up, but, it’s like you know what you can do this,” she says. “You love coming to work. You don’t mind it. And then you think about if you can’t go to work, we’re going to miss out on this writing activity or this math activity. So you really do want to go to work. And just being with these guys, they’re awesome.”