WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Mrs. Bambi Rivenbark is the Autism Liaison at Edwin A. Anderson Elementary, so she's used to popping into classrooms throughout the day to check on the students she works with. But, she wasn't expecting to see a WWAY camera when she popped into a kindergarten classroom.
"What?" she exclaimed.
Her shock quickly turned to gratitude when she learned she was the Teacher of the Week. Parents of one of the students she works closely with nominated her. But Gabe is not the only child's live she has touched. All of the students, even those without special needs love spending time with her.
"It made me feel really good, its going to make me cry," she paused. "Every once in awhile its really good to have that pat on the back."
Mrs. Rivenbark works with a wide spectrum of students, each with their own specific needs. She takes all the time needed to work with each child, no matter how much extra attention he or she may need. "They're not numbers," she said full of emotion. "They're kids and they're students and they're somebody else's child and that's what I would want for my child."
Each hug she gives out is filled with love. So are her lessons. "I try to make sure [Gabe] has what he needs and keeps up and I just love him; I love all of them."
You can imagine that keeps her pretty busy. Parents appreciate her attention and the personal touches. It is not uncommon for her to contact them throughout the day. "Even if its good or bad," she said. "I try to text them and let them know or email and let them know or send a picture...just kinda' how their day is."
As for students, they simply appreciate her. And they credit Mrs. Rivenbark for teaching them to color inside the lines.
As the school calendar year gets closer to an end, she wants parents and kids to take away one lesson. "I want them to walk away knowing that somebody does care," she said. "We care."