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Mrs. Buck and Mr. Krontz teach Reader
Family Ties at Thorpe Creek

February 03, 2020

Teaching may be the most captivating profession of all, proves Thorpe Creek Elementary. This year, six teachers in the building, inspired by parents, siblings, or grandparents who are teachers, are immediately related to another teacher at TCE.

Sisters Kristi King and Courtney Gibson teach 1st and 2nd grade and boast 12 years of experience working together. Their mother and grandmother, also teachers, inspired them to take up the mantle themselves. Rather than a challenge, they say working with family gives them opportunity to grow. “I think it actually makes us stronger teachers,” says King. The benefit to working with someone who knows their strengths provides the sisters with the opportunity to complement each other and encourage professional growth, King says.

Family collaborations are also a norm for 2nd grade teacher Carissa Buck and her father, kindergarten teacher Mark Krontz. “We’ve always been kind of intertwined,” says Buck. Krontz taught as a high school drama teacher at Buck’s high school, and the two even attended the same college to earn their teaching degrees. Obtaining the same training several years apart, they say, has fostered an attitude for change.

While married couple Matt and Amanda Wallace first met when TCE opened in 2008, their influence on each other redefined Matt’s career. When the Wallaces first met, Amanda was a teacher and Matt was the school custodian. It was Amanda Wallace and TCE’s former principal who supported Matt and inspired him to pursue a teaching degree, returning to Thorpe Creek as a 2nd grade teacher. “I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason,” says Amanda. Working in the same building, Matt and Amanda Wallace have the chance to see students grow from 2nd to 4th grade. By the time former students reach Amanda’s 4th grade classroom, says Matt, they are practically family as well.

​Working with family, despite the stigma, offers unique opportunities. The benefits outweigh the costs, these teachers confirm, and the chance to learn and grow alongside family is incomparable. “I get spend time with an incredible educator who far exceeded my expectations and has become a mentor on so many occasions,” says Krontz. “It has been said that you are only as successful as those who you surround yourself with.  I believe in this group and feel very blessed to be in their presence.”
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