Golden Apple: Kristen Stroud

Golden Apple

HARLEM, Ga (WJBF) – Kristen Stroud is ready for another amazing year at North Harlem Elementary School.

From coaching kids as a teenager, to teaching them now, she’s always played a role in childrens’ lives.

“I have known that I wanted to teach since I was in elementary school,” Stroud says. “I just remember that that’s all I ever wanted to do. I would play school at home and I always wanted to be the teacher.”

2021 is looking a lot like 2020 so far. But Mrs. Stroud rolls with the changes this pandemic brings. She continues to adapt.

“We were so used to, especially in these younger grades, giving all those great hugs. So, it’s turned into an elbow bump, an air hug, an air high-five. That might seem like it’s easy to do, but it’s not, when a kid will come up to you really wanting that hug. You have to find a way to still relate to them, make them feel loved but doing it in a safe space, if that makes sense.”

Mrs. Stroud has so much to give her first graders. She loves and appreciates their families too.

“When I became a mom myself, that really helped. Because you see things through a parent’s eyes. I’m constantly thinking, what if that was my child? And so that’s really helped.”

Kristen Stroud is not only helping her students succeed, she’s making this part of Columbia County a better place. And that’s the kind of impact that will stay with a child long after they leave her classroom.

“Harlem is just a very close-knit community,” she says. “And if you put it out there that you care, you’re going to get it back ten-fold.”

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