Our latest Welcome To Sanford Teacher of the Week is a long-standing educator at Warren Williams Elementary Alternative School, Rachel Ellis. Ms. Ellis has been a part of the Warren Williams family for over a decade and has served as the proud lead teacher of the Super Hero Explorers class. She has an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from CCCC, a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development and a Family Studies: Early Care from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a Masters in Early Care: Teaching Diversity from Walden University.
Ms. Ellis has a clear passion for her school and her students, noting “Warren Williams is my heart and soul; I count it as an honor to work with such a great team! Preschool has always been my passion! There is nothing like the experience of seeing the look of awe in a child’s eyes when they accomplish something for the first time. It’s the reason why I enjoy teaching.” She feels that her biggest teaching accomplishment is knowing that she has made a positive impact on a child’s life and ensured that their first year in school was the foundation that they needed to become anything they could possibly dream of becoming.
Teaching is also personal for Ms. Ellis, especially the opportunity to teach preschoolers and young children. She recalls her own challenges in learning as a youngster, in large part because she was unable to attend a preschool. Ms. Ellis remarks, “Knowing the struggles that I had as a child, I wanted to make a difference, so I sought to become a preschool teacher. Preschool is more than laughter, fun, and games. Preschool is a place where we learn to not only make friends but how to solve our problems and identify who we are. Preschool is a place where we learn to cut on a line, decide if a word rhymes, learn our letters and tell time. Preschool is a place where beginnings are made and traditions are started. I may only be their teacher for a year but they occupy a little piece of my heart for a lifetime!”
In addition to her primary teaching responsibilities, Ms. Ellis’ activities have covered a wide range as the Pre-K Chair, Transportation Committee Chair and Traditions Committee Chair, work on school events, fundraisers and field trips. She has also been a teaching mentor in the Lee County Schools Beginning Teacher Program. In her spare time, Ms. Ellis is invested her personal family and her school family. She comments, “My whole life revolves around my family and my classroom. I come home from work every day covered in paint, sticky with glue, and a few markings from markers here and there, but I wouldn’t trade a second of my day for the world!”