HERTFORD, N.C. (WAVY) — April Blackwell is not your ordinary teacher, just ask her boss, Hertford Schools Superintendent William Wright, Jr.

“Very often when you’re talking to children about the work that she does, they’ll start the conversation off, ‘Well do you remember in Miss Blackwell’s class when we did x,y,z…’ that’s what really makes an awesome teacher,” Wright told WAVY.

Blackwell’s students are eager to talk about what makes her special.

“She’s not like other teachers who just give you the notes and expect you to know it; she actually helps you,” said Jonathan Rueda.

Student Joseph Stephen said, “She’s very energetic; she’s just kind to anyone.”

That kindness could be seen in the cafeteria this year with two new students from another country. Principal Terrell Deloatch explained, “There are certain things that they did not eat, so she’s that one that would go to the cafeteria manager to make sure, they don’t eat meat, do we have something in place for them today.”

Blackwell herself explained why she is as a teacher, “I think it’s important to remember what it was like to be a kid looking at your teachers and just try to embody those good experiences and share them back out.”

Blackwell builds minds and relationships. She has been teaching 22 years and is now hearing from former students with children of their own. They feel comfortable sharing with her.

Student Tahaya Cowper said, “Say for instance I’m getting bullied at school, I would go to her and tell her about it.”

Blackwell came to teaching through the Troops to Teaching program. The Veteran’s style is to encourage the individual. “I want them to have a sense of security knowing that their best is good enough. It takes a team and I feel like, if I’m putting out that effort then it will kind of become contagious.”