Cynthia Mengel has been working as a teacher in North Carolina for 30 years.
She has spent 17 of those years at Mars Hill Elementary School.
“It’s just what I do every day. I come in on a prayer every morning and just do what God has lead me to do all my life,” Mengel told News 13.
She mainly works with students one-on-one or in small groups, because her students have a hard time learning in larger environments.
One of her students, Seth Brown, is very smart, but because he has autism he lacks other skills, which is why he is in this classroom.
“Most of the kids that I have this year have some behavioral issues, pretty severe behavioral issues,” Mengel said. “He's so intelligent academically, he really doesn't need to be in here for academics, it's behavior. He will refuse to write things, and when he refuses it is just a complete meltdown.”
Just because her students are different, doesn't mean Mengel wants them to change. Instead, she's helping them shoot for the stars, and embrace who they really are.
Which is why Seth’s mom nominated her for this week’s Thanks to Teachers.
“She said that she really doesn't know where Seth would be this year if I hadn't been his teacher. But for a kid, he knows more than any other student I've ever taught, and sometimes I wonder if he knows more than me. I'm sure he does. Especially about the solar system,.” she said.