FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) – It's been a long and hard road for Asbell Elementary School first grade teacher Crystal Hinrichs, but it's her tenacity that awarded her Fayetteville Public School's first ever triumph award.
“My senior year of high school I had a really rough year. I had gotten pregnant with my son whenever I was 16 years old and prior to that I had just gotten off on the wrong track and I started going drugs when I was 15 years old,” she said.
Hinrichs has been teaching for five years, but 15 years before that she was living with her boyfriend. She couldn't get back and forth from school, because she didn't have a car.
After hearing about her struggle, a teacher helped her enroll in a program to change that. And, has ultimately led to her graduating high school, getting her bachelor's and master’s degree.
“I seriously love this job so much. I take so much pride in working here because this is where I graduated from here in Fayetteville and then I get to come here every day and serve students the same way I was served and I know based off the experience that I had, that it goes beyond the walls of the classroom,” she said.
Superintendent Dr. Matthew Wendt said the award alone speaks volumes and stories like Crystal’s motivate and inspire everyone, and are stories they want to continue sharing.
“With not only our current employees, but with students who are experiencing similar challenges. Often times these kids just need encouragement and if we the adult in their life can be a part of that encouragement great things are going to happen,” he said.
As the award winner, Hinrichs was given a $1,500 check from Centennial Bank.
She plans to use the money to buy the entire staff at Asbell Elementary School lunch on Friday as a thank you. She plans to use the rest to buy her two children their first cars, once they're old enough to drive.