Houston County Teacher of the Year: Kathy Gibbs | News
Perdue Elementary's Kathy Gibbs is Houston County's new Teacher of the Year.
Gibbs has been teaching for 18 years, 3 of those at Perdue Elementary. She told our us why today's win is an honor she wasn't expecting.
"I was in complete shock. I had no idea I would have been named Houston County Teacher of the Year," she said.
But if you ask those who've worked with Gibbs, they'll tell you the win is really no surprise.
"She loves them, she hugs them, she tells them she cares about them," said Perdue Elementary Principal Andy Payne.
"She doesn't accept defeat in any child that she tries to help," said Anthony Lunceford, who initially brought Gibbs to the school system.
Gibbs teaches 5th grade at Perdue Elementary and admits becoming an educator was a bit of a surprise itself.
"Actually, that's pretty funny. I went to the University of Alabama to major in business and go to law school," she said.
But she quickly realized that wasn't the path meant for her and after some soul searching, decided on education.
"I realized that from that point on that this is a calling," she said.
Gibbs has had a lot of proud moments over the years. She works with students who fall behind, but one year, a student learning to speak English as a second language needed something beyond what books could provide.
"I began to work with him one-on-one because he was not reading he was not writing. He didn't know any words. He didn't know the letters of the alphabet," she said.
But it wasn't a language barrier. Gibbs recorded the sounds the student made only to find out he could only hear about half of them, so Gibbs helped his family see a speech pathologist.
She says she'll never forget the day things finally clicked.
"We were able to get him hearing aids, and the first time he put them on, he goes,' Ms. Gibbs, I hear you.' And that was the proudest moment because I realized I can teach academics all day long, but as a teacher, we make an eternal difference in our children's lives. "
It's just one story that makes Gibbs a teacher beyond her 5th grade classroom.
"We serve children, and if we can look at it as we are serving them and serving their parents as well as the community as educators," she said. "We will be the role models that people in the community and our students want to look up to."