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Katina Petree is the Valley's Top Teacher!

Katina Petree has taught first-grade students for nine years.

RUSSELLVILLE, Ala. — One teacher from Russellville considers herself a late bloomer, however, it is never too late to cultivate the next generation of students. Meet this week’s Valley’s Top Teacher from Tharptown Elementary School, Ms. Katina Petree!

Katina Petree has taught for nine years, and all years in first grade. “I waited until my youngest child started kindergarten and then I went back to school and got my teaching degree,” she said.

Petree said in her nine years she’s taught at a few other schools. But she says her heart is here. “I feel like I need to stay here and help our community grow, and help these kids be good citizens for our community.”

In fact, she’s a product of Tharptown Elementary School. “I was part of the first kindergarten class at this school a long time ago.”

However, for Petree, teaching comes with learning curves. “You have your good days and your bad days.”

“Teaching during the pandemic, that was a little bit rough but we survived. And just probably the things that are added to our plate each year. It gets a little bit stressful sometimes. Still, at the end of the day, this is what I’m meant to do,” she added.

Her Principal, Molly King, also believes teaching is what Petree is meant to do. “Ms. Petree is amazing,” she said.

“Her heart and soul is here with these children and with this school, and she pours her heart and soul into them and into the school every day,” added King.

Her love for her kids and her profession has no bounds, even if she stumbles into wealth. “Even if I think I won the lottery I would still do this because I love it and I love the kids,” said Petree.

 “All in all at the end of the day it’s about the kids. That’s what we’re here for,” she added.


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