Pay It Forward: Teacher returns to work day after losing home - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Pay It Forward: Teacher returns to work day after losing home

Sharyn Ketcham (Source: CBS 5 News) Sharyn Ketcham (Source: CBS 5 News)
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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

If you lost everything you owned, probably the last thing on your mind would be making it to work on time the next day. But an Arizona teacher wanted to be there for her students, and her gesture did not go unnoticed.

Sharyn Ketcham is the director of the Medical Assisting Program at Phoenix College. Her students already depend on her wealth of knowledge and experience, but it wasn't until last week that they saw how dedicated she really is.

After class on April 25, Ketcham went home to find her house on fire.

"It was terrible. You just start thinking about all the things that are in there that you can't get, that you'll never replace," Ketcham said.

Her cherished grandfather's paintings, all of her family mementos and her two cats were all lost in the blaze.

"I think that was the hardest part of the whole thing because when I opened the doors I could hear them. I know they were in there but I couldn't get them to come to the door," Ketcham said.

But when it was time for class to start the next day, Ketcham was there.

"I can't think of anybody that's more deserving than Sharyn, honestly, she lost everything in that fire and she came to school ... like it was nothing but she did her job," medical assisting student Courtney Brawley said.

"I had my house burn down when I was a little girl so I know how devastating it can be and it's really hard to lose things that mean a lot to you," medical assisting student Leah Smart said.

The students, with CBS 5 News, awarded Ketcham with $500.

The students said they hope Ketcham knows that she's a really great person and deserves their gesture.

"I'm just blown away by their spirit of generosity and I really, really thank them for doing this. Even though it's embarrassing, I'm not used to being on camera, but I really want to thank them for this," Ketcham said.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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