Sitting down with six longtime Love Elementary School teachers, with over 135 years of combined teaching experience, you immediately understand how much these teachers "love" the school, its students and its community.
"Love School has a sense of community and family. Some families have had someone enrolled at Love School for over 50 years," said teacher Kim Knight who has been at Love for 17 years. "My mother went to Love. There is a sense of caring and the relationships that are developed between the students, staff and neighborhood, make Love School special."
The school's "whatever it takes" attitude is what makes Love School a special place to be, not only for the students, but the parents. The school is located in the heart of the neighborhood and the staff has the same goals for the children as the parents do - success for all. Having a veteran staff that adjusts to the needs of the students and works closely with the families is a benefit for everyone, especially the students.
Veteran Love Elementary School teachers Pat Cunningham, JoAnn Gustafson, Mary Marcum, Roslyn Sisley, Kim Knight and Charlie Gustafson.
"There is a sense of caring, not only within the school, but also from the surrounding community," said teacher JoAnne Gustafson, an 18-year Love School veteran. "The staff tries to give as much support as possible to students and parents and those efforts cause many parents to move back so that their children can attend Love School."
Many parents walk to school with their child, which gives teachers an opportunity to see parents daily.
"I believe that we need a family's support to educate their children," said teacher Pat Cunningham, who has been at Love School for 32 years. "I've always had an open door policy. We want parents to see what their children are doing in school and become involved. The bottom line is we care about the students and that they succeed in their educational goals and we will do whatever is necessary to achieve that goal. We try to offer opportunities for parents and the community to come into the school whether it's for a classroom activity or an evening activity. Part of our job is to help the parents feel comfortable coming in and asking questions so we are team in helping their child succeed."
Love teachers rarely choose to leave the school. The staff is very dedicated to the work they do with the students and their families.
"I love the staff. There is not a better group of people anywhere," said teacher Mary Marcum, who has been at Love for 14 years. "Any idea or change to help the children, the staff is willing to open up and try, which keeps us invigorated and excited."
Challenges are a part of the job, however, working together to meet these challenges make these teachers true professionals.
"I love working with the children," said teacher Roslyn Sisley who is a 28-year Love School veteran. "Even though there are challenges, I feel that I can make a real difference in students' lives and it is why I love to teach."
Love School has been a neighborhood school in Jamestown since 1927 giving it a sense of history and tradition with generations of Jamestown families attending. It is something that both the staff and community appreciate.
"I've loved working with the children and seeing their progress. I have children in my class now whose parents I had years ago," said teacher Chuck Gustafson who has worked at Love School for 26 years. "I attended Love School myself. It's a caring and supportive environment for the students, parents and staff and I've been lucky to work here."