Being a kid isn't always easy. Sometimes the proper support system doesn't exist at home and sometimes lessons in the classroom can be difficult to understand. Thankfully, we have teachers like Johanna Bushue in our community.

"They're kids, you know," Bushue explained in regards to her passion for teaching. "Watching them succeed, watching them be successful, giving them the 'why' behind everything."

Mrs. Bushue is a resource and support teacher at Eagle River Elementary School.

"My role, throughout the day, and throughout the year, is to take kids [from] where they're at [in the curriculum] and help them... from math, to behavior, to study skills, to writing, to being successful at recess," said Bushue. "That's the big point of it... what do they need to do to be successful?"

Bushue works with third- and fourth-graders, splitting her time between five classrooms each day. It's a job that requires a lot of organization, but Bushue doesn't mind.

"The biggest joy that I get [from teaching] is seeing [students] succeed," said Bushue. "Seeing them be who they are on the inside... being able to take a fear they have, or something stressing them and helping them work through that and get rid of that [stress or fear] so they can go on to be a successful citizen [brings her great joy]."

While success is cultivated within the walls of Eagle River Elementary, Bushue works to ensure that her students are successful beyond her classroom.

“My husband will say, 'You just see a need and you fill it,' and so it doesn’t matter what the need is... there is always a way to provide a solution," Bushue said. "So if bringing a pair of gloves to school makes somebody's day [I do it] so that they can function throughout the rest of the day so they can get out to recess. [The gloves] put them at equal with their friends [whose families] can afford it."

Bushue goes beyond the call of duty, one of many reasons Eagle River principal Lisa Prince believes she's head of the class.

“She’s just an all-around positive person that even if things are going really bad, she tries to find the bright side and points it out to everyone,” explained a glowing Prince.

Letting her students know that she's available and that she cares— Bushue makes a difference in their lives every day. Practicing what she teaches, Johanna Bushue is KTVA 11's Head of the Class.

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