Louisa Co. teacher nationally recognized after working as an educator for 40 years

Gracie Quarles helping a student in class
Updated: Sep. 23, 2020 at 10:40 AM EDT
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LOUISA COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Gracie Quarles' career spans 40 years teaching family and consumer sciences to middle schoolers in Louisa County. Now, she’s being nationally recognized for her dedication to the job.

“I’ve taught some students, and now I’m teaching their grandchildren,” Quarles said.

This is her 41st year working with students. Quarles has helped them win leadership awards, but this year was her turn.

“In 2019, I won the Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher of the Year for Virginia. My application was forwarded to the national competition and I ended up winning top four,” she said.

Quarles is grateful to be honored for her work, but she’s most proud of her students.

“I have a student who’s now the superintendent of schools, Mr. Straley. I have students that work at the central office in big positions. I have students that are probably practicing law,” Quarles said.

In school she’s a teacher first, but to assistant principal Robert Morgan III she’s a mentor.

“When I first arrived, I was telling Ms. Quarles I had aspirations to be an assistant principal, and she said to just put in the hard work and that’s where I am now,” Morgan said.

Whether she’s teaching her class virtually or in-person, her students say they’re lucky to learn from the best.

“Ms. Quarles is a really fun teacher. She has a nice personality,” seventh grader Adelaide Mcginnis said.

Quarles is looking forward to the future and inspiring young minds.

“If you want to make a difference in someone’s life teaching is the place to go,” she said.

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