A thousand words beyond the Hill

Nathan Weber

It’s part of the mid-morning lesson today: recite the alphabet.

Kindergarten teacher Jeri Taylor at Olmstead Elementary School in Logan County leads the young students through the letters.

She’s “Miss Jeri” to the 5- and 6-year-olds.

“This is the most rambunctious class that I’ve ever had,” Taylor said.

Taylor has been teaching at Olmstead for 24 years. A summer spent working with the Head Start program at Olmstead High School gave Taylor her first experience working in education.

In 1979, she completed her teacher certification at Western. It was the same year kindergarten was mandated in the state of Kentucky. And the same year she accepted her first teaching position at Olmstead.

“My mind is always thinking about how I can make the classroom better,” Taylor said.

And what does Miss Jeri think is the best part about being a teacher?

“When you’ve worked really, really hard, and the child finally understands,” she said. “It’s those moments that make it worthwhile.”

Nathan Weber is a sophomore photojournalism major from Horse Shoe, N.C. He can be reached at [email protected]