HAWKINS COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Volunteer High School chemistry teacher Lydia Silva discovered her love for science in the classroom as a student, and now, she has the opportunity to pass along the love for science to her 80 students.

“I like helping students out, really,” she said. “When I was growing up, I wasn’t in any honors class; a lot of my teachers — that’s how I modeled myself after. They really helped me out in life. I kind of want to be like that to my students — a person they can talk to and rely on.”

Her students’ success spans beyond the Periodic tables and science projects. It is Silva’s communication and connection that drive the young learners.

“I kind of want to reach those kids, too — the ones who didn’t think they could do it,” Silva said. “I didn’t think I could do it until my one teacher in college told me I could do it.”

Volunteer High School Principal Dr. Greg Sturgill said Silva’s passion for student success acts as one of the most valuable learning assets.

“One of the greatest things about Mrs. Silva is her repoir with kids,” Sturgill said. “She has a huge heart for them — always has the door open to listen and will go the extra mile to make sure not only are their educational needs met, but also their social and emotional [needs].”

Congratulations to this week’s Educator of the Week, Lydia Silva.

To nominate an educator for our weekly feature, click here.