English teacher leaves classroom for Afghanistan

CREIGHTON, Mo. — A Sherwood-Cass High School teacher taught her last class Wednesday afternoon and then got an emotional farewell from her students. She’ll be gone from the school for more than a year because she’s deploying to Afghanistan.

Amber Wilson has been in the Army National Guard for about 10 years. She has been deployed once before to Iraq. But, this deployment to Afghanistan is a little different because this time she’s leaving so many people behind.

“I don’t know who I would be if I wasn’t in the National Guard,” said Wilson, “so to me it’s normal but to everybody else they say ‘we’re so proud of you and thank you.’ So it’s overwhelming but it’s great.”

Wednesday was Wilson’s last day in the classroom. Soon she’ll be in Afghanistan working as a mechanic.

“I love it, I love getting hands on with the trucks and working on them and learning new things all the time,” she said.

But don’t make her choose which job she likes more.

“I love both for different reasons,” she said, “I love working with the kids, they crack me up every day. I like seeing when the light bulb goes off it’s great.”

But now that she’s leaving, her school wasn’t about to let her go without a send off, a standing ovation, and a surprise visit from her family to make sure she knows she’ll be missed.

“We just think the world of her,” said her principal Bill Stackhouse, “I still remember hiring her, she impressed me so much I didn’t let her leave my office. I just gave her the job right there.”

Wilson started here four years ago, so the seniors graduating in May were the first students she ever taught. At the ceremony, Wilson let them know how sad she is to miss their special day.

“I’m so sorry I will miss you graduating,” she said holding back tears.

But she promised to return and once again just be Ms. Wilson, English Teacher.

Wilson will return in about a year and will start teaching again in fall 2014.

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