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Teacher in the Spotlight-Kelsey Rice

Teacher in the Spotlight By Christian Weaner

Kelsey Rice, Third Grade Valley View Elementary School

Teaching has always been a passion for Kelsey Rice.

Kelsey fondly remembers her childhood when she would convince her cousins and friends to play school with her in her toy classroom. "Of course, I was always the teacher," Kelsey joked. "My stuffed animals and dolls were some of the most intelligent pupils around."

Years later, Kelsey is now in her second year as a third-grade teacher at Valley View Elementary School (VVES), teaching in the same building where her love for school first began.

Despite her love for education, Kelsey did not decide to become a teacher until her own children were already in middle school.

"Throughout their elementary years, I had the opportunity to volunteer in their classrooms and learn from some amazing educators," Kelsey remembered. "I cherished every moment and truly felt like I belonged in a classroom where I could learn alongside and support kids as they grow."

For a while, Kelsey tossed around the idea of going back to school to earn her teaching certificate. Ultimately, with the full, unwavering support of her husband, Andy, and sons, Blake and Brody, Kelsey enrolled in Lewis-Clark State College's (LCSC) Pathways to Accelerated Certificate and Endorsement (PACE) program.

"Throughout my journey in LCSC’s PACE program, my family could not have been more supportive," Kelsey noted. "They pitched in with household chores so that I could do my schoolwork,” adding, “My son, Blake, found out that smokies, when cooked in the toaster, taste just like they were roasted over a fire.”

In addition to her family, one individual who Kelsey credits as impacting her teaching career is her mentor teacher, Mrs. Shelly Hoisington.

"I appreciate all of her advice regarding content, teaching strategies, and life in general," Kelsey said. "She continues to help me expand my teaching skills, and I feel very fortunate to have her as a role model teacher."

Aside from teaching, Kelsey's favorite pastime is cheering on her sons as they compete in cattle shows, rodeos and sporting events. "I am their biggest fan," she excitedly remarked.

Kelsey's teaching journey has offered her a full-circle moment to think back on the memories she made as a child and the life events that have allowed her to be where she is today.

As a child, Kelsey lived in town and attended VVES through second grade. She still thinks about the sunny school days when her mother would pick her up from school, pulling her little brother in his little red wagon.

"The school seemed so much bigger then," Kelsey recalled. "But in reality, it hasn’t changed a bit."

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