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Stephanie's Heroes: Jelita Hopkins

May 13, 2013

One Louisa County teacher is receiving a big honor for educating and inspiring high school students. In this week's Stephanie's Heroes, CBS19's Stephanie Satchell is featuring Jelita Hopkins. She teaches theater and chorus and is now the 2013 "Educator of the Year" in Louisa.

It's only been a few days since Jelita Hopkins received the "Educator of the Year" award, but she's still excited about the honor.

"It's a huge validation that what you're doing is being recognized," said Jelita Hopkins, Teacher, Louisa County High School.

Over the past couple of years, Hopkins has been faced with a few challenges as a chorus and theater teacher at Louisa County High School.

The biggest challenge was the 5.8 magnitude earthquake that destroyed their school especially their auditorium.

However, she didn't let not having a stage stop them from practicing and performing.

"When the earthquake happened and we realized we didn't have an auditorium anymore, I think my first thought was how are we going to do this? But I don't think any of us thought we just aren't because the kids deserve this and this is what they have been looking forward to," said Hopkins.

Students say Hopkins stayed positive during the transition which has included practice at the middle school in a smaller area called the forum.

"She does the best with what she's given. We're in the forum now because of the earthquake and she definitely works very well with it and helps us all to participate in class and put on a great show," said Justice Smith, Student Louisa County High School.

Although students say Ms. Hopkins has taught them a lot about singing and acting during class, she has also encouraged them in other aspects of their life.

"She definitely has inspired me to become a much more open person and she's taught me a lot about confidence and carrying yourself well," said Asana Okocha, Student, Louisa County High School.

With every note she sings and every scene she rehearses, students say Jelita Hopkins gives her all to the program, the school and the students, so it's no surprise that she's this year's "Educator of the Year."

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