Class Act winner left speechless after receiving award

Updated: Mar. 2, 2020 at 10:28 AM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The reaction from the Class Act Award winners is always priceless and this week’s teacher even surprised himself by getting so emotional.

“I was speechless. I’m rarely speechless. I was so speechless I didn’t know what to do. I almost cried if I wasn’t a grown man," said Southlawn Middle School teacher Eric Ellis.

Ellis says he’s motivated by the chance to be there for kids who may not have the foundation they need to succeed in life.

He says because of the way he grew up and his family dynamic, he can relate. Ellis wants to be someone his students can look up to and pattern their life after.

“I got into the teaching profession to become a role model because I grew up in a single-parent home and I wanted to give back a male figure. So it’s quite an experience that I love to participate in,” said Ellis.

Awards are nice but Ellis says the opportunity to be an example for these kids far outweighs that. He’s looking to make that connection every day. He says when that happens, it makes all the hard work worthwhile.

Ellis said, “Oh yeah! Their eyes get wide and everybody raises their hand and stuff like that. That’s when I feel a little fuzzy inside because they understand what I’m talking about.”

Now we understand why someone thought you deserved this award, Eric Ellis. Congratulations on being named this week’s Class Act!

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