Teacher Appreciation Week is right around the corner, and one teacher from Western New York is in the running for America’s Favorite Teacher. 

Teachers are absolute saints. Without them, what would we know? Probably a lot less. If it weren’t for my first grade teacher Mrs. Wright, I would have never known how to read! I was the last one in my class to learn, but she spent the time with me and I am forever grateful that she did. 

Teachers provide their students with lifelong learning, encourage creativity, have patience with the different learning speeds of their student, and they help many students discover their passions – and embrace it! 

One teacher from Western New York does exactly that, and it’s Chrissy Gibbins from Eden, NY. 

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Miss Gibbins has been an art educator for 14 years, and her favorite thing about teaching is “to learn who my student artists are to their very core.”  

“The opportunity to witness the connections they make to daily life within their artwork, stage of development, social-emotional state, and providing support as they navigate their feelings is so rewarding,” Gibbins said. 

One of the most memorable experiences from her teaching career was just a few months ago with a former student-artist she spent a lot of time working with. Not only was Miss Gibbins teaching her in elementary and middle school, she also helped her after school during Art Club, summer Art camps, and private art lessons. A few months ago, that same student reached out to Miss Gibbins and sent her this message:

"Ms. Gibbins you’re the reason why I get to graduate and have the opportunity to choose where I want to go for Art School within the top ten Art Universities/Colleges in and out of the US. You are the reason I could do this with confidence!”

Only the best teachers can leave a long-lasting impact like that, and that’s why Miss Gibbins is up for America’s Favorite Teacher. 

The winning teacher will receive $25,000, which would definitely help teachers like Miss Gibbins who have been struggling with limited budgets and resources. Gibbins said that if she won the $25,000, she would “reimagine both my Art Room and Home Art Studio to reflect what I believe to best foster creativity and beautiful results.”

“I'd equip them [the students] with quality brands of art supplies, joyful color, and organized storage in the way I have always wished!” Gibbins said.  

You can help Miss Gibbins get there by voting for her to be America’s Favorite Teacher when you click here. Voting for this round ends on Thursday night, so use your daily vote before then. 

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