By Kendra Hennis
Family: Husband: Jim Patton, Son: Shane with wife Maryssa and Lucy (4) and Stella (2) living in Dixon, IL Daughter: Kayce lives in Indianapolis, IN
Years in education: 33 years, 23 at TCHS
Classes taught/sponsorships: I have been a special education teacher at TCHS which means I have taught and supported all classes at TCHS in one way or another.
What prompted you to choose education as a career?
My mom described me my whole life as the girl with the big heart and encouraged me to choose a career that would use my compassion and my heart. I picked special education early on, and it was my dream job and I am blessed to have done it from a very young age.
What was your favorite part of the job?
Relationships with students. I love to develop relationships with them that are loving and trusting. Once that happens I can challenge them and they know it is a challenge from a place of love.
What are you most proud of (or do you have a favorite memory) during your time at TCHS?
I am easily most proud of the accomplishments of those students who I lovingly pushed so that they would graduate with a diploma.
What will you miss the most/least about your job?
I will miss the students the most, and wearing masks the least!
What advice would you give someone wanting to go into the education field?
Please go into the field because you love children, not because of three months off in the summer! With all that is changing and going on with mental health issues teachers need to be in the field because they want to change lives!
What are you going to do now?
My second career is that I am a mental health therapist with Elliott Counseling Group. I will continue working for them part-time. I have a camper on a permanent site near my granddaughters so they will get plenty of Grammy time.
Do you have any messages for former students?
Please friend me on Facebook…I love to see where life takes you! You will all have a piece of my heart forever!