Elkin teacher named WXII’s first ‘Teacher of the Week’

Taylor Pardue Staff Reporter

November 1, 2013

An Elkin Elementary teacher was recognized Monday as WXII News Channel 12’s first “Teacher of the Week.”

Alicia Gentry, a kindergarten teacher at the elementary school, was selected from teachers across the Piedmont Triad as the first in the series.

Gentry was dressed in a camouflage hat for the school’s Red Ribbon Week when the WXII crew came to visit. She was photographed with the morning news crew and given a $1,000 check as part of the honor.

“I just am very thankful,” Gentry said. “My sister is who actually wrote in. She did an amazing job. I am just very, very thankful for our friends and family that support us.”

“She is a very devoted teacher,” her sister, Brandi Hall, said. “She puts her whole heart and soul into it, and so much time and energy. Honestly she’s just an easy subject to write about. She did all those great things that made it so easy to nominate her.”

Hall wrote that Gentry was like other caring teachers in the state that spent their own money and extra hours to engage their students. What sets Gentry apart, Hall wrote, was that she cared about each individual child.

“I once read that when God has a fragile soul, He will find the warmest incubator. Alicia’s classroom is just that,” Hall said. “She takes every child in her classroom — from the teary-eyed child being dropped in the morning to children devastated by difficulties too mature for their age — and gives them a safe, happy learning environment where they feel secure and valued.”

The videoed segment was shown Wednesday morning.

Gentry has been with the school for seven years as a kindergarten teacher. Prior to that, she worked as a teacher at Winston-Salem’s Whitaker Elementary School.

“I love kindergarten because we get to start right at the beginning and get them to love school and love learning, and hopefully just make them lifelong learners and readers.”

“She truly cares, not about them as just individuals, but their education,” Elkin Elementary Principal Anthony Davis said. “She truly cares about their education and wanting to make sure that they all succeed. She finds out what each individual child needs and she really caters to those needs.”

WXII will honor a new teacher each week and highlight the individual on its 6:45 a.m. news program each Wednesday.

WXII selects the teacher of the week by viewers’ online submissions. A person can nominate any teacher between kindergarten and 12th grade by uploading a photo or video of the teacher and a description of why they are special on www.wxii12.com.

There will be four more television segments for a total of five. The remaining teachers will be aired Nov. 6, 13, 20 and 27.

The limited number of segments and the wide viewership further highlight how big of an honor Gentry received to be the first teacher selected.

Reach Taylor Pardue at 835-1513 or at tpardue@civitasmedia.com.