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Teachers are Heroes: Devon Forest's Emily Reichbach takes pride in responsibility of being a teacher

Published Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Photo of Emily Reichbach

Ms. Emily Reichbach (BCSD photo)

Devon Forest Elementary’s Emily Reichbach may not have always known she would be a teacher, but her natural desire to help others guided her there.

As a child she was active in the community with her mother and began volunteering. She was a natural caretaker.

“These traits led me to education, because I wanted to make a difference in children’s lives as well as the community,” she said.

“Making a difference” is likely an understatement for the impact teachers like Ms. Reichbach have in the classroom. With a goal of impacting as many people as possible, Ms. Reichbach is growing with technology, and her students are seeing the benefit.

Children in her class are learning through online videos and games, collaborating in online discussions around the world and being challenged to be the best they can be. DFE Principal Cristie Mitchum said Ms. Reichbach’s knowledge of best practices, as well as her experience as a teacher and technology coach, have been an asset to the school.

The 4th-grade educator doesn’t see lessons simply as a challenge for her students. She admits she’s also always challenging herself to seek new ideas and implement new techniques for engaging and educating her students. While some may look forward to a summer break, she describes it as “unbearably dull.”

“I miss the conversations, lessons and challenges that my students and I engage in each day,” she said. “It is a reminder of how influential my role is in their development, and I take pride in that responsibility. I also find it impossible to be complacent in my career as a teacher.”

Ms. Reichbach is currently one of three finalists for Berkeley County School District Teacher of the Year. While she’s honored to be recognized among BCSD’s best, her proudest moments do not involve her accomplishments. She covets stories of her students showing compassion for one another, overcoming adversity and succeeding in the classroom.

“A teacher mentioned to me recently that there was a genuine concern for another student who had been absent for a few days. Another time, a parent confided that her child’s behavior at home was remarkably better after joining my classroom. Those two comments stand out to me and make me proud of my students,” she said.

She finds value in those moments and they further fuel her desire to provide her best for students.

“My students’, past and present that have persevered through difficult situations inspire me. I had students in my first two years teaching that came to school ready to learn, despite having little to no food at home and sometimes no running water. These students valued what I had to say, and that meant the world to me,” she said.

Ms. Reichbach is a graduate of College of Charleston with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. This May she expects to complete course work and graduate from Coastal Carolina University with a master’s degree in instructional technology.


Brian Troutman