After graduating from Central Michigan University in 1990, Jodie Ferrell struggled to find a teaching job. After months of searching, she received a part-time position at Bentheim Elementary teaching young fives and also subbed on her days off. The next school year, she accepted a first grade teaching position at Hamilton Elementary, and the rest is history.

Now in her 33rd year in the district, Mrs. Ferrell continues to make a massive impact.

"I love teaching in Hamilton because it's just a great, tight-knit community. We have great parents, great students, and great community support," she smiled.

She estimates that she has taught between 800 and 900 students during her tenure. Over the past decade, she has seen dozens of her former students become parents and now, she is teaching their children.

"I have parents who were first graders and now I have their children, it has been so much fun getting to know the parents in a different way. They had me as a teacher and now they're entrusting their children with me."

Mrs. Ferrell says while the thought of retirement is there, she is committed to at least a few more years in the classroom.

"Yes, I am thinking about retirement," she smiled. "However, retirement is still a little ways off yet. It will be amazing to think about all of the fun years and wonderful people I met as well as the nearly 900 students who I have been able to be a part of their life."

Thank you for your commitment, Mrs. Ferrell!