Bryson City teacher inspires children to make a difference in the world

Photo credit: WLOS Staff

A Swain County teacher's life and work experience shaped her approach in the classroom.

Because of her global resume, she encourages kids to learn more about the world. Angie Danforth's class rules set the tone at Mountain Discovery Charter.

"Enter with love. Show kindness to others," the sign reads. "Always come prepared. Never stop learning."

"And I love kids, I've always loved kids, and I love learning," Danforth told News 13. "I just hope anyone that comes into my class knows that I truly care about them as a person, and not just test scores."

These days, her third graders shoot for the moon, learning about lunar phases.

"First of all, can anyone tell me what the moon is looking like right now?" she asked her students Wednesday. "Anyone notice the moon last night?"

"As a teacher I try to help kids find and fulfill their potential," she says of her approach. "Like a lot of kids have a hard time seeing things that I see they are capable of."

Danforth teaches with a mom's touch and an interesting worldview. Husband Karl served in the Air Force, which has lead her to interesting teaching stops along the way, including England and Honduras.

"Really I want kids to have kind of a global perspective, and I've been fortunate, with my husband's military experience, to see and visit a lot of places," Danforth said.

Karl now works as a law enforcement ranger at Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

For the past six years, she's helped satisfy a hunger to learn here in the mountains.

"I have some really good memories of beautiful clear skies with really skinny little crescent moons," she said, connecting the lesson to something relatable. "Do any of you like to eat the crescent rolls? Always makes me feel kind of hungry, right?."

Danforth wants to be a positive force in these formative years. In the long run, she believes the ripple effect can make the community and the world a better place.

"I hope they learn they make a difference whether it's in the classroom, in their home, on the playground, or in the world-- whatever they want to do," she said.