“I love the way they run to me, eager to start their day. I cherish these moments.”
For Candi Wilson, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing the look of eagerness on her students’ faces when they arrive at school each morning. “I get so excited when I come in the morning because seeing them happy to be here makes me feel so good,” said Candi. “I love knowing they love me as much as I love them.”
Candi has been teaching toddlers at Margery Reed, one of six Catholic Charities early childhood education locations since 1995. She has become a beloved figure in the community because of her reputation as a warm, caring and nurturing teacher who truly loves her students.
Parents and former students frequently come up to her on the street or in the grocery store and tell her how much their children love her. The joy she feels when she encounters students who have gone on to graduate from high school and college makes it all worth it.
Over the years, Candi has seen many children grow up, including her own granddaughters and colleague’s children in her classroom. “It is a source of pride for me to see them grow, develop and know that I had a small role in their lives.”
She considers herself lucky to be able to spend her days surrounded by such young, curious minds and enjoys teaching children between the ages of 15 months to 3 years.
After 28 years, Candi continues to feel blessed to be able to do what she loves every day and remains just as passionate about her work as she was on her first day. “The kids make me smile when I see them smile. Their joy is contagious, and it reminds me why I love this job so much this job is my calling, I can’t imagine doing anything else but working with children.”
Candi is more than just a teacher – she is a guiding light for the young children in her care. And for her, there is no greater joy than knowing that she had made a positive impact on their lives.