• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

Teacher of the Year: Brewer gets 'really excited' watching her students' progress

KELSEY BREWER, pictured at back with her second-grade class, was named Teacher of the Year at Simmons Elementary School. She describes a teacher's job as "meeting them at the level where they're at so that they can grow." (Photo by Bob Vlach)

Last school year was difficult for teacher Kelsey Brewer and her kindergarten class at Simmons Elementary School. One of her students, Logan Tipton - who she affectionately calls, "My Logan" - died tragically in his family's home last Dec. 7. "He's with me every single day. I love him. I miss him. He was my kiddo," says Brewer, who has spent her entire teaching career at Simmons Elementary. Being named Teacher of the Year at Simmons was an honor for this educator who vividly remembers 6-year-old Logan making a Christmas tree for then-Principal Larry Caudill as "an act of kindness," two days before his death. In addition to kindergarten, Brewer has been a third-grade and now a second-grade teacher during her eight years at Simmons Elementary. "I actually like (teaching different grades) because I get to teach some of the kids I've taught before, and (I'm) watching them grow," Brewer explains. ".So it's been really exciting to watch them as they progress." That's why Brewer always enjoyed kindergarten, where she has spent four years of her career at Simmons Elementary. Watching students make progress - from not knowing the alphabet to reading; from not knowing their numbers to doing difficult math - "is just the coolest thing ever," she says. Academically, Brewer takes pride in helping students overcome difficult challenges by being excited for them - with every success. And she's constantly monitoring her students' needs to ensure they are making progress. Brewer, who grew up in Clark County, describes a teacher's job as "meeting them at the level where they're at so that they can grow." Their uplifting "little personalities" keep her energized. "They are just full of hugs. And every day is just a new day for them," says Brewer, who chose to pursue a career in teaching after deciding against becoming a veterinarian. She took a few education classes at Morehead State University and decided teaching was her true passion. Now, Brewer cannot imagine ever leaving her Simmons family. "You know that you've got a shoulder to lean on and these are your best friends," she explains. ".Here, it's a family." Brewer and her husband of five years, Justin, have a 2-year-old son, Turney Clay. (This is the fourth in a series of feature stories on Woodford County Public Schools' Teachers of the Year.)

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