As we start back to school, in a more trying time than ever, we are so thankful to ALL the teachers and school staff in our communities. Today we are featuring Charlene and Roger Gragg, who both work at Williams Academy, our charter school on our Avery campus. Thank you Charlene and Roger for working so hard for our kids and making a difference every day!
What is your position at Williams Academy?
Charlene:First grade teacher
Roger: Maintenance Technician & Supervisor
How long have you been at Williams Academy?
We are both beginning our ninth year.
How has Crossnore impacted your life?
Charlene: Working with children and students is always rewarding. Children are children no matter where they are educated. What sets Williams Academy and Crossnore apart is the intentional love by teachers and staff and our commitment to surrounding them with a sanctuary of hope and healing. There are challenging minutes every day, but my love for these children will never allow me to give up on any of them. My life and heart will never be the same. Watching children succeed and soar above their crises has had the greatest impact on my life.
Roger: My experiences at Crossnore have made me appreciate life, my family, and opportunities we’ve shared. The circumstances that these kids come from are immense, and yet they still have a positive outlook on their lives and futures. It is humbling to see.
What do you love most about your job?
Charlene: This is not just my career. It’s my calling. Being a teacher has completed all that God has called me to do and be. These children bring such joy and simplicity to my life. I love seeing a child begin with a few educational skills and soon learn how their ABC’s and 123’s open up a whole new world of reading and adventure. There is a genuine atmosphere of love, respect, hope, peace, and fun that surround our children and students. I’m full of gratitude for this gift of work that God has given me. Yes, I love my job!
Roger: The relationship that I have with my coworkers. They are my extended family.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Charlene: Anything that involves or includes my grandchildren!
Roger: I like spending time with my grandchildren, watching sports, and playing golf.
What would you still like to learn/do in your life?
Charlene: I would love to learn how to play the piano.
Roger: I would like to learn to be a better golfer!
What are your favorites?
Charlene: Color – Pink, Book – Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, Movie – Steel Magnolias
Roger: Color – Blue, Book – The Bible, Movie – Brian’s Song
What is the most important lesson you hope to teach the students?
Charlene: Truly, they teach me something every day! My prayer and hope is that they feel a sincere love and safe atmosphere in our classroom where they can flourish and grow. Each child is unique, and my desire is to help develop a love for learning in them, helping them realize that anything is possible.
Roger: I strive to be a positive role model for the kids. I try to keep in mind that something I say or do will have an impact on their lives. I want them to know that I care by sharing a kind word or a friendly smile with them!
“Education is never an accomplishment by any one person. The teachers, administration, support staff, nutrition team, custodians, groundskeepers, and maintenance department work as a team to ensure that every child is in a safe environment and have all their needs met.” – Charlene Gragg