Golden Apple Jill Sewell

Reported by: Joe Legge
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Updated: 8/13/2012 4:54 pm
Jill Sewell first knew she wanted to be a teacher when she was just a few years old.

She grew up watching how other students would light up, when her mother helped them connect with subject matter.

Jill Sewell: "She was there for us when we got home from school every afternoon and would help with the homework. I knew that I had a love for kids like she did and was always wanting to help her in her classroom, she taught at a private Christian school."

Sewell remains on the move in her classroom... To individualize instruction with hands on, engaging work.

She uses books, videos, crafts, and field trips to keep students loving learning.

"And they're so excited about reading, and just able to read words and I said if you can read letters and words, that makes sentences and then you can read. And at this age, they want to learn how to read and write so bad."

Sewell came to Westside Elementary this year, after teaching at Antioch Elementary in Whitfield County.

It's there she learned an important life lesson she shares with her class.

"I had a bald head at that time and I wore a hat and not a wig, I don't like wigs, they're too hot."

Sewell survived breast cancer...And kept teaching while undergoing treatment.

"I remember one day saying I've got to show them what cancer can do and I was sitting there with them around the group rug and I pulled off my hat and thought oh gosh, what are they going to think and the girls looked at me and one little boy raised his hand and said 'hey Ms. Sewell, you look like my grandpa. That's cool.' So I knew I was ok."

The ordeal showed her the importance of acceptance...Something she now teaches all her classes.
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