Close to home: Many teachers and staff at this Chesterfield school grew up near it

Posted at 10:20 AM, Feb 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-08 11:19:02-05

CHESTERFIELD, Va. — There may be a teacher shortage, but a school in Chesterfield didn’t have to look far in recruiting teachers to come there.

One of the teachers, Adrianne Thornton, said it’s great that she has other good teachers to lean on at Woolridge Elementary School.

“You’ll have rough days. You know, you need someone to vent to. Or you need a break just to take a walk. Because it's a tough day. Having someone you can count on," Thornton said.

Woolridge Principal Katie Matheny will tell you that family matters.

"Family first, of course, but we're kind of the second family here. And so, we're here to support each other," Matheny said.

There’s something 27 teachers and staff have in common at this school. All of them are graduates of a Chesterfield County school and many of them grew up near Woolridge.

"I didn't think twice about it," teacher Kristin Mitchell said. “As soon as I declared my major at VCU, I was like, I'm coming home. I'm coming home to Chesterfield."

"If they're feeling good and they're happy and they're doing what they love, then their kids are happy and feeling loved and having a good time while they're learning," Matheny said.

Good vibes can lead to good grades.

27 teachers and staff at Woolridge Elementary graduated from a Chesterfield County school.

"Week one of school we talked about how we're going to be a family here," said Mitchell. "We're going to spend day in and day out here, and we're going to accept each other for who we are."

Building relationships with each other and their students is Building Better Minds.

Building Better Minds with Rob Cardwell airs every Wednesday at 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. on CBS 6 and is sponsored by Virginia Family Dentistry.

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