November Chalkboard Champion for Sarasota County: Mrs. Conley from Atwater Elementary

Mrs. Conley's students give her big hug for winning November's Chalkboard Champion award for...
Mrs. Conley's students give her big hug for winning November's Chalkboard Champion award for Sarasota County.((Source: ABC7 WWSB))
Published: Nov. 12, 2018 at 10:05 AM EST
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SARASOTA (WWSB) - ABC7 is teaming up with Gettel Automotive to celebrate teachers in our community – we’re calling them “Chalkboard Champions.”

We ask the community to nominate a teacher and then we select two winners for Sarasota and Manatee County each month.

We head to North Port for November’s Sarasota County Chalkboard Champion. ABC 7′s Jacqueline Matter takes us to Atwater Elementary to meet first grade teacher Kayla Conley.

For many teachers, including Kayla Conley, spending much of their own money for classroom and student needs is unavoidable.

"It is very hard to give these guys the best that i can with the little bit of money that I have extra left over between my family and everything," said Conley.

"Anything extra I do have left over I give back to them.”

Conley's fellow teacher says it's her love of teaching and commitment to her students that makes her stand out.

"She is somebody the other teachers can really go to when they need help," said Lyndsey Mosher.

A skill Conley has mastered, as she’s found creative and inventive ways to teach her students.

Mosher continued to say, "She's incredibly thrifty. She makes the most of the resources that she has so this is awesome that she got this prize money because she's going to be able to do a lot with it."

"I've reached out to some of my friends and they've sponsored a child in my class to help them get books every single month," Conley said when discussing some of the innovative ways she is helping her students learn.

Conley says the money she has won will go right back to her students.

"It's going to be going toward reading and math, probably some stem things for my kids," Conley continued to say.

Because for Conley, teaching her first grade students to read is what matters most.

"I struggled as a reader as a kid and I had an amazing set of teachers that helped me learn to read and that's part of the reason I became a teacher," Conley said.

"I had amazing teachers and I want these guys to get the best that they can."

If you’re interested in nominating a teacher from Sarasota or Manatee County click here.

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