From an early age, you could find Marion County Schools Teacher Rachelle Bourne in her room “playing school” with her dolls.
“That love of teaching only grew throughout the years, and I always knew I wanted to be a teacher. In high school I was asked to tutor a little boy with autism. This experience fostered my love of helping those with special needs.”
As a special education teacher at White Hall Elementary School, Mrs. Bourne said her favorite part of being an educator is encouraging her students to be curious about the world in which they live.
“Every day I get the joy of spending my day with young kids who are still excited and curious about the world. I love fostering this curiosity by creating unique and individualized ways to help all students learn to their full potential.”
Mrs. Bourne was named Marion County’s 2021 Teacher of the Year this past May. When asked why she thought the education system in West Virginia is so successful, Mrs. Bourne said she thinks of the wonderful staff she has the privilege of working with at White Hall.
“West Virginians have a strong loyalty to their families and support and protect those in it. I feel as though the people I work with are my ‘work family.’ For eight hours a day, five days a week we are a family; we support and protect one another for the good of our students. This, in my opinion, along with our resiliency, are what makes schools in West Virginia, like mine, so successful.”
Mrs. Bourne said as she thinks back on her career, the past 13 years have afforded her many experiences, which have positively impacted her.
“In many cases, I am fortunate enough to teach a student from the time they enter kindergarten until they graduate from fourth grade. During that time, I am blessed to be able to see these students make both educational and personal gains to meet yearly goals. These goals are not met without an amazing amount of hard work from the students and I. Witnessing this progress in each student and the self-esteem that comes with it is what impacts and inspires me daily.”
In her free time, Mrs. Bourne loves to spend time with her family, for whom she’s grateful for their unwavering love and support. She also enjoys cooking, traveling, and spoiling her niece because as she said, “What are aunts for?”