LITTLE ROCK, ARK. – One Little Rock educator was celebrated Tuesday for her years of service, and in the process discovered just how deep the love of teaching runs.

Tuesday morning, Tipton & Hurst surprised educator Rhonda Adams, the newly crowned Little Rock School District Teacher of the Year, and three other LRSD award recipients with gifts for their success.

Adams is the gifted and talented specialist at Gibbs Magnet School and has been an educator for 30 years.

She said she’s honored and grateful to be recognized for her work and says it’s really all about allowing kids to be the best they can be by encouraging their creativity to shine and never letting them give up.

“I moved from a classroom teacher to teaching gifted but soon realized that every kid is gifted in their own way,” Adams said. “And the really cool thing about it is we have to harness that, find out where they are and then take them to the next level…. I can see it. I can see it in kids that go out and continue to do really great things and that just fills your cup when you know that’s your path and you know that’s what you’re supposed to be doing.”

To make this moment even more special, during the gift exchange, Adams found out she was taught by Stacy Hurst’s mom in the Pine Bluff School District decades ago, unknown by both women until Hurst went to present Adams her award.

Adams even said Hurst’s mother was one of the educators who inspired her to pick up the field herself.