NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — First-grade teacher Amy Lucas said she cherishes each student for their individuality.

First-graders practice counting through a game of basketball. It is about learning through play inside Mrs. Lucas’ classroom at Prairieland Elementary in Normal.

“We do a lot of fun things and a lot of different things, but there are just those kids that you connect with them, want to take them home even when they’re grown-up,” said Amy Lucas, First Grade Teacher | Prairieland Elementary. “I have kids that are in college, and out of college, but it’s just you still have that love for them.”

Lucas said her passion for student success has kept her in the classroom since she first started in the 80s. She said, “I have been fortunate enough to teach the grades K, 1,2,4, and 5.”

“It’s just so fulfilling to know where they started at the beginning of the year, and how far they’ve come,” said Lucas. “I have to say, going through COVID, and trying to have a normal year this year, these kids have just grown immensely.”

The school’s principal said Lucas showcases a dedication to educational enrichment.

“You’re not going to find someone more dedicated than Mrs. Lucas,” said Scott Peters, Principal of Prairieland Elementary. “She just works so hard to bring it to the kids each and every day.”

In her last few days before retirement, Lucas said she is grateful for the minds she’s helped to mold.

May 26 is Prairieland Elementary’s last day of school.

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