“I was very humbled,” Kello said. “I was so surprised, especially this year. Parents don’t see me. Most of the time I get to meet the parents and I know who they are and they know who I am. But this year, the parents don’t get to come into the school. So, I haven’t seen them. I was very surprised and very humbled by the award.”
Kello works in special education, giving support to students of all ages in a variety of subjects in the classroom. She told KCBD that being back in the classroom has been vital to seeing student success after COVID-19 forced remote learning.
“It was hard to learn,” Kello said. “Especially children who are in special education, it’s even more difficult to learn via iPads. To be able to be with them and spend time with them, it’s just been great. We’re just glad to be with them and help them be successful in the classroom.”
Kello has spent more than 25 years in the classroom. She has been at Lubbock Cooper West Elementary for 12 years.
“Some students I’ve worked with in Kindergarten, and I’ve been able to work with them all the way up through fifth grade,” Kello said. “I really get a chance to see them grow and learn and really be a part of their life.”
The program gives the teacher a chance to choose a charity or non-profit organization that will also receive $500. Kello chose Lubbock Impact, after learning about the organization through her church.
“A blessing of this amount is awesome,” Executive Assistant Brandi Carter said. “Because of COVID, we had to change the way we did everything and it has made our costs go up significantly for our meals that we hand out every Wednesday. So, this $500 will help tremendously to help feed the working poor of Lubbock, and help try to break the generational cycle of poverty.”
Carter says support and funding from the community is important to the organization’s ability to function, especially as it moves forward after the loss of its leader, Rory Thomas.
“That was a struggle that we had to keep going and adapt to,” Carter said. “It’s all of God’s work. That’s what we’re trying to do for the community. There’s a plan for everything.”
Meanwhile, Ms. Kello also moves forward working to instill in her students a desire to be the best they can be.
“When they have been successful, they’ve done well on a paper and they’re just so excited about what they’ve accomplished, to see that excitement, it helps to spur you on to keep going.”
To nominate a teacher for One Class at a Time, click here.