Thomasville teacher overcomes odds, now finalist in national competition

Published: Sep. 20, 2020 at 7:49 PM EDT
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One Thomasville teacher went through the unthinkable, and now her community, and the nation, are recognizing her.

Jenny Holt is a first grade teacher at Jerger Elementary in Thomasville Teacher. She has taught for over 17 years, and now that work is being commended.

Holt is many things: a mom, friend, teacher...

Add to that list, one of 16 finalists in the Juicy Juice National Teacher Competition.

“I don’t think about it, because I just do what I do," expresses Holt, "I love what I do. I was just doing my job.”

It was a job that did not go unrecognized by Shelley Busby, a mother to one of Holt’s students. Busby was the one who submitted Holt’s name into the competition, “She never missed a beat, she never missed a spite of what she had going on in her personal life.”

Her personal life, was filled with hardships from an ongoing medical battle with her daughter Amy. Since the age of two, Amy has been battling an enlarged spleen and low blood platelets. Fast forward more than ten years, and this summer, Amy received a new liver. Jenny never left her daughters side, but also never left her students.

Jenny says the virtual move was secretly a blessing, as she was able to still connect and teach her students while at the hospital with her daughter. Holt shares what got her through those tough times, was her Thomasville community, “People sold bracelets and chicken dinners and had shirts made," shares Holt, "they have been very supportive. My students and parents I was getting daily texts, how’s amy how is she doing...It is a relationship they become your family.”

Her students hope the win will not only provide her with financial assistance, but give her the boost she needs to keep pushing forward.

Seven year old Evan Busby, mentions how cool it would be if she wins the grand prize, "10,000 dollars!”

“If she wins this competition it would be amazing," shares Shelley, "I would feel like I have been able to do my part for her, because of the huge blessing she has been to me and my family.”

“I don’t know if there are words to say for that," states Holt, "it is just a blessing and it is an makes me happy and proud to be from Thomasville.”

If you would like to place your vote for Mrs. Holt, click on this link:

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