BONIFAY - Third grade teacher Kisha Stafford of Bonifay Elementary School (BES) has been named the “Amazing Teacher” for the month of March.

Stafford, a nine-year teaching veteran, was nominated by a grateful parent.

"My son, Cory, has had a lot of problems with school since first grade," said the parent. "He struggled severely through first and second grades, barely passing with Ds. He was like a hermit crab in his shell. When we found out he got Ms. Stafford in third grade, I went to her and told her all about him and how he was unsocial and didn't care about school at all."

"It seemed with in the first day of school, he started coming out of his shell a little. I began to notice day by day, week by week, he was more excited about school and telling me how he had friends now. Before I knew it,, he went from completely dreading school to waking me up extra early, ready to go to school to see her and his friends. This shocked me beyond belief because, as his mom, I couldn't do what she had done. His grades skyrocketed up to Bs and Cs by the end of the first nine weeks."

The parent went on to detail how Stafford would contact her about each milestone her son reached, including his passing FSA scores and how the teacher is always responsive to calls or messages.

"Ms. Stafford has something magical about her," said the parents in the nomination. "She is beyond loved by every student and parent she meets. I truly feel in my heart that if we had not been blessed with her, we wouldn't have the bright, funny, smart, school loving, amazing boy we have. I will forever the more than grateful for her. She will never truly know just how much of a God-sent angel she is."

While Stafford was first a Marketing major at Florida State University, she soon discovered teaching was in her heart - a gift handed down through the family, with her first cousin, Angie Goddin also being a BES teacher, and her parents, Mike and Elaine Stafford, both being retired from teaching in Ponce de Leon.

"I grew up watching my parents interact with the kids and seeing the impact they made on their lives," said Stafford. "I wanted that for myself. This is what I was meant to do."

Stafford said her favorite part of teaching is the love her students have for learning.

"To see the sparkle in their eye anytime we do anything new and their love of learning fills me with wonder," she said. "They still have this incredible love of learning at this age."

Stafford also points to her environment as a vital classroom factor.

"Our administration here makes this a wonderful place to work," she said. (Principal Rood Jones) allows me to focus on my kids and do the things that are best for them. We also have fantastic parents and community support here at BES."

Stafford was recently recognized by the Holmes County Times-Advertiser and Washington County News with the presentation of a certificate and a sponsor gift from presenter First Federal Bank.

Do you know an amazing Holmes or Washington County teacher? Nominate him or her to be named an “Amazing Teacher” by visiting www.chipleypaper.com or www.bonifaynow.com