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Fourth grade math teacher at Helmwood Heights Elementary wins WHAS11 ExCel Award

The Helmwood Heights Elementary School math teacher recognizes the importance of teaching the full child, both in education and life.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Each week, WHAS11 honors teachers who go above and beyond in the classroom.

This week, Elizabethtown Independent's Kendra Adams, a fourth-grade math teacher, shows success adds up.

Adams has been teaching fourth-grade math at Helmwood Heights Elementary for five years now, but her path to teaching wasn't conventional. She said wanted to be a farmer up until she was 12. 

Helmwood Heights Elementary School Principal Aaron Howell commended Adams on her leadership, especially during the pandemic. 

"She always came to school with a positive attitude, supported her team, supported her teachers, spoke up when necessary for teachers," Howell said. "[She] helped me out as far as making decisions on what was best for everyone."

Adams knows her role is that of a mentor, counselor and life lesson leader. She keeps her classroom respectful and protective. 

As a math teacher, she's had to work against the confusion that turns into a dislike of her subject and she's done so incredibly well.

"I thought, you know, why do all students hate math? Why?" she told WHAS11 News.

"Why can't we love it? It's something we all use. You need to know if someone is jipping you on your paycheck!" Adams joked. "That's why it's so important to have that foundation of mathematics."

Adams said her plans for the $1,000 check are not fully figured out, but Adams said it's important for her to get input from all the other fourth-grade teachers at Helmwood.

"I think I'll talk to my teammates, my fourth-grade team, and see the best way we can use that throughout fourth grade and see if there are other things other than primarily math that we can use to benefit all the students," she said.

On behalf of WHAS11 and LG&E and KU, congratulations to Kendra Adams of Helmwood Heights Elementary School on your ExCel Award. 

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