One Class At A Time: Smyer middle school teacher awarded $500

Published: Oct. 25, 2022 at 6:38 PM CDT
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SMYER, Texas (KCBD) - Smyer Elementary teacher, Whitney Funke is this month’s recipient of KCBD’s One Class At A Time $500 donation and recognition sponsored by Frontier Dodge and Spirit Chrysler.

“You know the whole, as corny as it sounds, if you love what you do, you don’t work a day. And that’s kind of how I feel about it. I get to come up here and I never know what each day’s gonna be.”

Funke is in her ninth year of teaching and has taught 6th grade at Smyer since she and her husband moved there. She told KCBD she usually taught Jr. High and coached at the high school level, but when her husband got the coaching job at Smyer High School, 6th grade is where she’s been ever since. She says, “As crazy as it is, I love it, it’s just such a fun age.”

After sitting down with Mrs. Funke in her classroom to see what she thought about winning the award, she said, “I’ll be honest, I thought it was a joke. But it just goes to show how blessed we are to be here in Smyer and to have the kids that we get to have. That’s the only reason I get to do what I do, so I’m very blessed.”

After Mrs. Funke found out she would be awarded $500, she chose a non-profit organization that would benefit a local man who recently found out he is battling ALS. Executive Director of the West Texas ALS Support Group, Amanda Stephens, was there to receive the $500 donation. Stephens told KCBD this is the first year the group has been able to accept donations or fundraise, so it’s especially important.

Stephens said, “It just kind of caught me off guard, it was really touching that she thought about us and reached out to us to be the beneficiaries of this grant.”

Mrs. Funke says she and a couple of others have plans for the $500. “I have a son and a daughter and they were like Christmas! They’re super excited. But we’re definitely gonna have to do some celebrating up here with my kids. So, I don’t know what that is just yet, but it’ll be something fun.”

To nominate a teacher to One Class At A Time, click here.