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Thanks to Teachers: Elizabeth Holley

It's "show your shine" day at Glenn Marlow Elementary School. But, third grade teacher Elizabeth Holley, wearing a "blinged-out" sweater, is more concerned her students shine in reading. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

It's "show your shine" day at Glenn Marlow Elementary School. But, third grade teacher Elizabeth Holley, wearing a "blinged-out" sweater, is more concerned her students shine in reading.

"I tell my kids all the time 'reading is power' and 'you're becoming empowered' ... they know in our history there are people who haven't been taught to read because somebody didn't want them to be empowered," Holley said.

The kids work on their reading, discussing what they are learning with their teacher and each other.

"It makes me feel passionate," student Beckett Lowrance said. "I feel excited - just read the next chapter and stuff."

"It gives you a chance to bring your imagination to life," student Raelae Melton said about reading.

Holley says she always wanted to teach, and third grade was the perfect fit.

"You get the best of both worlds. The kids are young. They, for the most part, enjoy school, enjoy learning, and they're old enough to really become involved in a lot of things," she explained.

Before Holley became a teacher, she was a stay-at-home mom.

"I had experienced elementary school as a parent with my daughter while I was raising her," Holley said.

She said that parental experience, combined with the joy of finally getting her own classroom motivated her to be the teacher she is today.

"Such a powerful influence on our staff and the success of our school," Principal John Hart said of Holley. "She has been such a great mentor to so many teachers and staff member throughout the school."

After 25 years on the job, Elizabeth Holley says she plans to retire at the end of this school year.

"She will be missed tremendously," Hart said.

But, Holley says it won't be a total goodbye. "I have a feeling I will be back in some capacity -- volunteer? I just can't imagine these kids not being in my life," Holley said.

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