Tennessee Education Lottery Educator of the Week: Gail Pugh

TRENTON, Tenn. — This week’s Educator of the Week presented by the Tennessee Education Lottery is Gail Pugh, an assistant teacher at Springhill Elementary School in Trenton.

Pugh has been in the school system for five years.

“My background started with my daughter. She worked over in Yorkville for several years, and they were needing an after-school person,” Pugh said. “So she got me in. She helped me get into it, and ever since then I’ve been working in the school system.”

Although she didn’t get her start in the educational field right away, she has a history of caring for children.

“I had a daycare for 30 years,” Pugh said. “If I had known that I could have gone to college to be a teacher — I wasn’t very knowledgeable back then in the ’70s — so if I had known that, I would have gone to college to be a teacher.”

Pugh does one-on-one lessons with students as a “response to intervention,” or RTI, teacher, helping students who struggle with certain skills.

“Reading and math is what I do now. I have them anywhere from kindergarten to eighth grade,” Pugh said.

As an RTI teacher, she knows the importance of understanding the individual needs of her students.

“I want them to learn the ways that they can learn,” Pugh said. “Some people can count better if they are using their fingers. Some people can count better if they are using blocks. We need to find out what those things are and help those children that they’ll be able to do that.”

Pugh says the best part of being an educator is the personal connection she makes with her students.

“Getting to know the kids and just loving on them and letting them know that I’m here for them regardless,” she said.

Pugh will now be eligible for the statewide Tennessee Education Lottery Educator of the Month award. Starting in May, to vote for her or any of the other nominees, visit www.seehowitaddsup.com.

To nominate a teacher for our weekly award, email us at educator@wbbjtv.com.

Categories: Educator of the Week