This week’s spotlight is on two first-grade teachers at McCleary Elementary. Mrs. Susan Wilcher has taught first grade at McCleary for the past 34 years. Ms. Abbot has taught at McCleary since graduating from Radford University two years ago.
“I went into teaching to make a difference in the lives of children. It is exhilarating to watch a child learn to read. Teaching children to read is so important, and it is rewarding to watch my students succeed academically”, says Mrs. Wilcher.
Ms. Abbot added, “Teaching has always been my passion – even as a little girl. I can remember coming home from school every day and teaching my younger sister everything that I had learned. If my sister weren’t home, I would teach my baby dolls. Needless to say, my devotion has always been to teach others.”
Mrs. Wilcher grew up on a dairy farm in Lexington, Virginia. To this day, she enjoys helping out on the farm. Her husband’s name is Bill, and they have a daughter, Maggie who is currently a junior at Virginia Tech. Mrs. Wilcher loves animals and has three cats and a golden retriever. She enjoys living and teaching in a small rural county. She feels that there is more of a chance to interact with co-workers, parents and students while living in a place the size of Craig. Mrs. Wilcher states that “it is a pleasure to teach the children of parents that I have previously taught.” Her hobbies include reading, gardening and doing crafts.
Ms. Abbot grew up in Craig County and graduated from Radford University in 2016. She has a daughter, Ayla, that is a first-grade student at McCleary. They both live in Craig with their dog Sadie. Ms. Abbot loves teaching in her hometown. She states that “it is nice to be able to work with my former teachers and be a part of the community that has given so much to me.”
-Submitted by Andrea Jennings