PRINCETON, W. Va. (WVVA) - "Teaching has been a part of my family for a really long time. I'm a fourth generation teacher, so it goes all the way back to my great grandmother. It has always just been a part of who I was growing up and seeing how much of a difference my mom made."
Now, Kayla Blankenship is the one making a difference, teaching kindergarten at Princeton Primary. Kayla said education is more than a calling, it's a passion.
"I just love what I do. I love teaching. I love teaching kindergarten."
...A love that was put to the test when the COVID-19 pandemic forced an entire new model of learning. But if you ask around, Kayla passed with flying colors.
...Keeping kids engaged through virtual learning.
"We do scavenger hunts, where they have to go through their house, and they have to find things. For example, at Christmas we did one where they had to find something that was red, and they had to find something that was green."
...Helping parents understand technology.
"I have FaceTimed with parents, walked them through how to do something. If they needed to call me at 8 or 9 o'clock when they got off of work... I have done a couple home visits, standing outside the door, showing them which buttons to push."
Kayla exceeds the mark every time.
"When they come into my classroom, for me and my assistant, they're our kids. They become like family to us."
Family she would do anything for...
"It does not bother me at all to go out if they need crayons, if they need a book bag, if they need something, I don't mind to help them with that."
Family that grows by a class load each and every school year...
"I love them. It's just keeping them safe and making sure they know that they are loved and they are cared for and that someone wants to take the time to make sure of that."
That's what makes Kayla Blankenship a Hometown Hero.