LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – More than 15 years later, three teachers have returned to Veterans Park Elementary School where they once attended as students.
Wednesday was not only the Fayette County students’ first day back, but it was also Makayla Ward’s first day as a special education teacher, Mckenna Boone’s first day as a fifth grade teacher, and Allie Campbell sixth year returning as a Mental Health Specialist.
Turns out, Campbell was in the very first class at Veterans Park Elementary school, “The school opened when I became a kindergarten so I was able to start here the first year it was open.”
Ward said it was surreal parking at the school Wednesday morning, “I walked in and just being able to be in that same hallway that I walked for six years.”
Boone said it feels like a dream to be back, especially since she had just taken over her fifth-grade teacher’s position after she retired.
“So my fifth-grade teacher was the reason why I wanted to become a teacher,” Boone said. “I even called my fifth-grade teacher and talked to her, she gave me some tips.”
Boone said she started off her very first class Wednesday morning with an ice breaker.
“I showed a photo from when I was in fifth grade here, it was our class photo, and I had them find me,” Boone said.
All three women said they keep having flashbacks, and Ward said one playground in the back of the school hasn’t changed.
“They’ve added a few other little things, but for the most part, it’s literally the exact same. I’m just a little bigger,” Ward said.
Each teacher sees themselves in the students they’re mentoring and remembers what inspired them to become teachers.
“When we had counselors just teaching us in the classroom about social and emotional topics, that I know just set me on the right direction from early years,” Campbell said.
“I service kids on social and emotional needs, we all get frustrated and we have big emotions, but the earlier we learn to cope with those, the more successfully we’ll be in life,” Ward said.
“I just feel right at home. I love being back where I was when I was a kid, which made me feel so safe, and that’s where I did my best learning. I want to encourage my students to be proud of themselves and to become leaders,” Boone said.
One last note, Campbell, Ward, and Boone also attended Veterans Park Elementary School together at the same time, each one a year apart from the other.