‘Teacher of the Week’ recognized for her kindness and positivity with first graders

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — With the end of the school year quickly approaching, teachers at Holly Tree Elementary School are covering as much ground as possible to make up for face-to-face instructional time missed earlier in the year due to COVID-19.

Recently, we received a ‘Teacher of the Week’ nomination commending first-grade teacher Cheryl Toney-Jones for her kind and positive manner with students.

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“I love the kids,” she said. “I love what I do.”

A teacher for nearly 25 years, Toney-Jones says its exciting to see her students learning new things.

“It’s just their enjoyment of learning,” she said. “I just want them to learn more.”

The nomination we received also said Toney-Jones consistently addresses students in a calm and respectful manner.

“I treat the children the way I want people to treat my children,” she said.

A 1997 graduate of UNCW, Toney-Jones models her teaching style after great teachers she had as a little girl.

“They always pushed me to do my best and believed in me,” she said. “I just want to emulate them.”

Principal Steve Moore was thrilled we selected Toney-Jones as ‘Teacher of the Week.’

“I would like to celebrate her as a human being, teacher, leader and passionate servant who sees herself in a very quiet, unassuming role,” he said. “She is incredible, the epitome of a elementary teacher who takes the academic, the socio-emotional and wraps it all together in one package to ensure every child is successful.”

The success of her students, he said, is due in part to how Toney-Jones connects with families.

“Mrs. Toney-Jones takes that and she internalizes and it shows,” he said. “It demonstrates through the smiles, the interaction, the learning — not only the relationships that she builds with the kids and with the families but the academic success that her students demonstrate.”

Toney-Jones says she was excited and honored we selected her as ‘Teacher of the Week.’

“It’s heartwarming to know parents feel that way about me,” she said. “I’m just doing my job and doing it to the best of my ability.”

When we interviewed her mid-March for our story, Toney-Jones was less than two weeks away from retiring and said she has no regrets over her decision to become a teacher.

“It’s a great job and a great career, and I have enjoyed every single minute of it.”

Click here if you would like to nominate someone for ‘Teacher of the Week.’ Each week’s winner receives a $100 gift card compliments of our partner Down East Heating and Air Conditioning.