PONTIAC, Ill. (WMBD) — With more than three decades dedicated to teaching and molding young minds, this week’s CI Hero said learning while feeling loved helps create academic success.

“I’ve said for years, ‘if you love the kids and your students, then they’re going to learn.’ Because if they’re happy, they’ll learn,” said Kim Verdun, Kindergarten Teacher at Central Elementary.

Kim Verdun celebrates 100 days of learning with her kindergarteners in Pontiac by counting 100 blocks, creating objects with 100 Legos, and stacking 100 cups. Coming from a family of teachers and nurses, she said it is moments like this when teaching shines through as her calling.

“It’s just fun to see them and see the days the lightbulb turns on, and they’re like, ‘oh, I know that.’ And that’s the best part…to see that love of learning instilled in them.”

Mrs. verdun | central elementary school | pontiac

Central elementary’s principal said Mrs. Verdun and her team showcase how dedicated they are to their craft.

“For the longest time, Kindergarten was almost too academic, you know, as dictated by the state,” said Principal Kel Krenz. “Now, it’s swinging back to where kids need to play in order to learn, and they learn through play and [Kim] is truly a master at that.”

Principal Krenz said Mrs. Verdun’s love for her students is indicative of how the whole school operates.

Through this submission form, you can nominate someone you know to be our next CI Hero.