Teacher’s Triumphant Year Ends with Meeting U.S. President
LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. – Sit down with third grade Lee’s Summit Elementary students and you’ll quickly learn why their teacher is being called one of the best in the nation.
“If it’s not fun, you don’t want to learn,” said Jasper Norbury, a Lee’s Summit Elementary third grader. “I want to learn with Mrs. Merrell because she makes it fun.”
Classmate Lilly Stubblefield, agreed.
“I want to be a teacher because Mrs. Merrell makes it really easy to be a teacher,” Lilly added. “She’s the teacher of the year so once I be a teacher, I’m going to try to be teacher of the year.”
In a whirlwind of a year, Kristen Merrell became both the Lee’s Summit and Missouri Teacher of the year and went on to compete in the nationals.
While Merrell, who just returned from Washington, D.C., didn’t win the national title , she said she’s honored have even been recognized and her experiences there were bar none.
“The president has to rank up there. I mean, when do people get to say they met him and inside the White House by yourself ,” said Merrell.
She met President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden while visiting the White House.
“That was wonderful, but I have to say one of the coolest things was coming back home to my class. I mean, they we’re so happy to have me back. That’s what feed my soul. That’s what feeds my heart.”
While Merrell welcomes all of the attention she’s received over the last year, she’s glad it’s over so she can now focus 100% of her time and attention on what’s most important – her students.
“Hard work, and dedication and passion can get you where you want to go in life,” said Merrell. “Sometimes things you never expect come your way and that’s just from using your heart and letting that guide you in everything you do.”