Channel 6 News is proud to recognize Troy Elementary School Assistant Principal Kenny Westmoreland as our February 2018 Outstanding Educator.

This week, Channel 6 News Reporter Stephen Adams presented Mr. Westmoreland with a plaque in the school library.

"It was quite a surprise," Mr. Westmoreland said.

Years ago, Westmoreland had his eyes set on medical school. But, a college tutoring job caused him to fall in love with education. Nearly two decades later, he has not looked back.

“I don’t ever think of myself as anything special in the job," Westmoreland explained. "Those guys right there are why I do it.”

Westmoreland makes a point of connecting individually with his students. Even when students act out, Westmoreland takes them under his wing and helps them become their best selves.

“As kids move in from different places, we want them to know that we can be a school family," Westmoreland said.

Principal Andrea Durbin and Westmoreland graduated from Troy High School in the same year. Both their paths led them back home.

“He is probably the hardest working person in the world," Durbin said. "And, he loves children. And, he does an exceptional job.”

Read the nomination letter from a parent below:

"Mr. Westmoreland has helped inspire my son in many ways. He is patient and understanding and always has a way to make the kids (and the parents) crack a laugh or a smile.

Mr. Westmoreland is quick to help or return a phone call. He truly cares about each of his students and approaches them each in a way that is meaningful for them. This honestly is not lost on the students, as they know they can come to him any time.

My son went through a difficult transition when we moved to Troy last year from Mississippi. The atmosphere, students and faculty were different from what he had encountered in the past. In an effort to fit in, my son made poor decisions. Mr. Westmoreland took my son under his wing to give him a safe space to deal with his emotions. As a result, my son is happier and more adjusted than I have seen him in a very, very long time.

I am genuinely grateful to Mr. Westmorland not only for his leadership at Troy Elementary, but for his compassion for the students within."

NOMINATE AN EDUCATOR: Click here, then scroll to the bottom of the page to find the entry form, where you can nominate a deserving educator.

SPONSOR: These surprises are made possible by our friends at Precious Memories located at 1404 S. 31st St. in Temple. Click here to find flower arrangements!