BONIFAY - When families move to new communities and place their children in a new school they pray for a teacher that will go above and beyond to make their child feel comfortable and welcomed in their new environment.
In the case of Bonifay K-8 school, that teacher happens to be Kelly Layton, who was chosen to be November’s Amazing Teacher for Holmes and Washington County.
Layton said she decided to become a teacher in her third grade class. She said her teacher asked her what she wanted to do when she grew up and she told her she wanted to help people and only two careers came to her mind that would fit that desire.
“I wanted to be either a nurse or a teacher,” Layton said. “As I got older I realized that I just couldn’t give people shots because I felt like I would be hurting them more than helping them. So teaching, because I always loved working with children, became what I felt like I was called to do.
Layton said she always loved working with younger students and even in high school signed up for the early education classes.
“Even in high school I would sit with the elementary students on the bus and ask them to take out their reading books and read with them,” she said.
In her class, she has a class pledge which her students recite every morning after the pledge of allegiance.
“Today I will do my best to ”bee” the best,” she said., reflecting the class pledge and her class mascot.
She said she has always loved the bee’s because she feels they are important to life and growth and decided to incorporate that into her classroom.
When Layton discovered she had been chosen as the amazing teacher this month, she said she was in total shock.
“I have never been nominated for anything before,” she said. “It was amazing.”
For future teachers she encourages them to never give up, despite the challenges they may face and to never stop teaching the children something new everyday.