PRICEVILLE, Ala. — For the past 24 years Mrs. Debra Freeman has been shaping the minds of the youngest students in Priceville.
Her kindergartners go to school each day at Priceville Elementary School knowing they will be loved and cared for.
"Well I always greet them at the door," smiles Debra Freeman, the Valley's Top Teacher. "You know we are very affectionate in the classroom. I always greet them with a hug and make them feel welcome when they come in."
"My favorite thing was to see her and have fun," says second grader Raegan Ledlow, who is a former student of Mrs. Freeman.
Parents say Mrs. Freeman always makes learning fun, even on the days they do remote learning. Mrs. freeman loves to see how much her students grow over the year and the kids love to learn from her.
"She helps us learn and read. And helps us do math puzzles," shares Raegan.
"She reads us stories," smiles Stella Ledlow, a kindergarten student.
Mrs. Freeman says when her kids feel loved, they can reach their goals and achieve great things.
"It gives them a safe environment to express themselves," shares Mrs. Freeman. "It helps them with problem solving and they feel comfortable, you know, we all make mistakes, so they need a risk-free environment and that is what helps us to grow and learn so much."
Once the bell at the end of the day rings, Mrs. Freeman stays later, helping with their after-school PAWS Program.
"It is just part of that comfort, it is just that feeling of home," she shares of why she stays to help kids. "We are all a big family here, and you know, I have the time to do it. So I don't mind giving my time to be with the kids after school."
Mrs. Freeman even supports her kids after they leave kindergarten and get older. Whether it is saying "hi" to them in the hallway or going to their sporting games, she is always there for them. There is one thing she wants her kids to always remember.
"That Mrs. Freeman loves them."
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