LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - National Teacher Day is a day to honor educators for the service they provide students each and every school year. Teachers in the Lufkin High School Special Education Department go the extra mile, making sure their students get the most out of their high school experience.
"We're mentors, we're their cheerleaders, we're supporters and without that I don't know if kids would have the same opportunity," said Alex Hobbs, self-contained autistic teacher.
Faculty members say they've devoted their lives to helping students with physical and intellectual disabilities reach their full potential.
"Through the patience and persistence and being tenacious as a teacher and keeping at it and never letting the students give up on themselves," said Michael Hillis, a resource algebra teacher.
The greatest reward for these teachers is watching their students overcome challenges.
"I had one student. We would count to 10 and he'd skip a number every time and finally last week he said the number and we made a big 'to-do' about it," said Hobbs.
"It is a big deal not only for me as a teacher but for the student to realize, 'Hey, I can do this,'" said Hillis.
Resource algebra teacher Michael Hillis says his students have changed his life.
"Its made me a better person and its definitely improved me as a teacher," said Hillis.
The role they play in the lives of these young people is invaluable.
"They ask us for advice they ask us for support and we have an impact on these kid's lives because when they go home, there still going to remember us," said Hobbs.
Watching their students triumph is all the appreciation they need.