Valley Grande Teacher is a Class Act

"When you're working with children it's always a mile a minute, there's never a dull moment to get bore with your job," says Stacie Wells, a third grade teacher at Valley Grande Elementary School (VGES).

Her students say she does a great job helping them learn. Michael Smyly says he's been helped in: "multiplication, reading... reading especially."

At VGES Wells is known for assigning science projects that get students fired up about learning. They often refer to the projects when they have science lessons in upper grades. Recently they built their own mousetraps. "I did (a mousetrap using) a lever and a spring and a screw," says 3rd grader Morgan Reeves.

Wells says, "it's one thing to be able to just repeat a definition or something on a piece of paper, but to be able to apply it to a project or show that you know how to use it is a different thing. It shows a higher level of thinking. So we use a lot of projects, like right now we're working on complex machines."

Wells says she uses hands-on lessons every chance she gets. Her colleagues say she's goes the extra mile to help her kids. VGES principal Calvin Vance says, "she goes on-line. You can tell she does a lot of homework at home and the children will come to my office, to share reports and projects. And the parents will call me a lot saying, 'we like that project Ms. Wells did, can you send us that, we want to try it at home?'"

Wells is also active with the VGES Parent Teacher Organization, her church and she sponsored the school's relay-for-life team that won an award for collecting the most money.

Education Reporter: Michael Briddell