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Yancey County teacher says starting career late gives her extra appreciation for the job

Clearmont teacher Sherry Garland said getting a late start gave her extra appreciation for her job. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

A mountain school teacher said getting a late start gave her extra appreciation for her job. This week, News 13 spotlights Sherry Garland in its Thanks To Teachers segment.

"Clearmont's home," Garland said of the building that's the definition of old school.

Built in 1936, timeless wisdom remains.

"We've talked about the different types of owls," Garland said to her class recently.

She was once a student here, and she said the spark that happens in class never gets old. Garland's taught 10 years, including the past two at Clearmont.

"I just want to be able to have a purpose every day of helping these kids to learn and to love to learn," she said. "And that one day Mrs. G. made a difference in my life. "

That was a memorable day for those students.

"I would like for you to keep these gloves on at all times," she told them. "I don't want you touching the owl pellets without your gloves."

Yes, owl pellets. The assignment they gladly accepted was to dissect them.

"We've talked about the things the owls eat, and they want to find what we've talked about and discussed," Garland said. "I love my job, I love seeing the kids when they light up."

While the kids had their hands on those owl pellets, we found out why Mrs. G is among the who's who of local teachers. She raised two kids and didn't start teaching until she was 33.

"Just the want to and the desire, I think that makes a big difference," Garland said.

Now a grandmother, she makes learning an adventure on a daily basis. The students appreciate her approach.

"Miss G is a really fun teacher, she makes learning fun for us and she gives us projects," said Chloe Geyton.

"When she's giving us something on the board, if we don't understand it, she'll do different ways until we understand," added Kendall Lions.

The mark of a good teacher is helping kids digest information, even when they discuss what owls can't digest.

"Oh, they're excited, very excited!" Garland said.

Along with teaching, Garland works as a volunteer firefighter. In a couple years Clearmont, Bee Log and Bald Creek will be combined at a new school. Garland said leaving the old building she went to school in will be emotional.

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