KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) — Gina Zimmerman has spent time in the classrooms at Miller Perry Elementary as both a student and educator.

The Sullivan South High School alumna has spent the past 25 years as a teacher at Miller Perry, where she aims to make a difference in her community.

“I feel like I’m giving back,” Zimmerman said. “I’m supporting my community by building these little future leaders; I’m just helping this community become stronger.”

Zimmerman has taught first and second grade, but she’s spent the past seven years as a fifth and sixth-grade math and science teacher.

“My whole perspective on teaching is building a relationship with the kids,” she said. “When they feel supported and loved and cared for, they are eager to please you.”

All this is evident to Miller Perry Principal Mike Wilson.

“I walked into her class the other day, and the kids were doing a fun activity, and they really enjoy her class,” he said. “She loves the kids, and they know it.”

Her passion for teaching extends beyond the classroom.

“I want a place that’s positive and happy and kids who are prepared for their future with a smile on their face,” Zimmerman said.

From all of us at News Channel 11, congratulations to Educator of the Week Gina Zimmerman!