ECLECTIC, AL (WSFA) - The goal at Eclectic Middle School is to achieve a community of people who work to nurture academic excellence. One teacher in particular does so with a sense of humor and a lot of love.
Mrs. Lori Keel has been an educator for 23 years now. The decision to become a teacher was easy for her; she was just following in her mother's footsteps.
"My mother taught for 30 years, and I saw the lives that she touched," said Keel. "And I have always loved children."
The students love both her and her comedic flair.
Keel describes herself as sarcastic and quick-witted, so working with fifth grades fits perfectly with her personality.
"I just have a rapport with the students in the middle school," said Keel. "They have senses of humor. They understand sarcasm."
It's not always fun and games, though.
Just like a child's parent, Mrs. Keel's goal is to motivate students to reach new academic heights. And just like a parent, she knows each kid has a wealth of potential. Sometimes to reach it she might have to give them a little tough love.
"I love them, but I don't always like them," said Keel. "But they know if I get on to them that at the end of the day I am still going to give them a hug, I'm still going to tell them great job. They know that I often expected more from them than they do from themselves."