This week’s school spotlight is on Heroes Elementary School second grade teacher Lindsay Collins.

Collins has spent 10 years teaching in the Department of Defense Education Activites (DoDEA) system, having spent seven years at Johnson Primary prior to her time at Heroes ES.

Collins is a Jacksonville, N.C. native and graduate of Jacksonville High School. She received her degree in elementary education from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

Q & A:

Q. What encouraged you to pursue your job as an educator?

A. I had a difficult time in school as a young child for many reasons. I also found it difficult to maintain positive relationships with my teachers. This, along with my love for children, inspired me to become a teacher. It has been a personal goal of mine to provide opportunities for children that I didn’t have access to, and most importantly I wanted to develop positive relationships with each student and their family which I believe helps foster a love for learning.

Q. What encouraged you to pursue education within your specific age level/curriculum?

A. Primary grades have always been where my heart is. I believe the first few years of a child’s education can have a huge impact on how they view education. I strive to provide students and parents with an experience that will encourage them to love school for years to come.

Q. What is your main education philosophy?

A. Young children are hardwired to learn. If they are not learning, it is my job to figure out why and then provide learning experiences that are going to best fit their needs.

Q. What is a lesson you have learned from your students?

A. My students have taught me that relationships matter. If I can build a positive relationship with a student they will come to school happy, they will be more willing to try hard things, and they will trust that if they don’t reach their goals I will be behind them helping them until they do.

Q. What is your favorite part of being an educator?

A. Working alongside families and other educators as a team to help children reach their full potential.

Q. What advice would you give to upcoming/new educators?

A. Being able to have a positive influence on a child’s life is a privilege and you should treat it as such.

Q. What are three words that would describe your life outside of the classroom? (hobbies, interests, etc.)

A. God, family and reading.

Q. What is a favorite memory from your teaching career?

A. It isn’t one memory in particular that comes to mind, but rather a recurrence. It is that moment when you unintentionally catch your students not only mastering what you have taught them, but teaching it successfully to another student or their parents.

Q. What advice would you give to a parent of a second-grader?

A. Use the Wi-Fi password as leverage and remember it’s as challenging for them as it can be for you.

Q. What changes would you like to see implemented in the school system within the next five years?

A. Within the next five years, I would like to see school systems recognize that they are asking educators to do more than ever with no additional time to complete the tasks.

Q. What are the biggest challenges you face as an educator in a military town?

A. As an educator it is instilled in me to help students and families the best I can. I have found that there are times that there is more help needed than I can provide. Luckily, we have wonderful resources for our families that I can try to steer them to for support.

If you know of a local educator, administrator or school employee who should be featured in a School Spotlight, e-mail Pat Gruner at