Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

Gracie Murray’s essay: A Cheer for the Chanticleer

Sulphur Springs School is in Jonesborough, Tennessee, the oldest town in the state. Sulphur Springs is a small community in Washington County, a lot like Mayberry, where everyone knows each other. Sulphur Springs School may be the only school in the state where its real-live mascot, a gamecock, otherwise known in literature as a chanticleer, struts and cock-a-doodle-doos every morning in the front yard. The best part about my school is that it is a place where a kid can grow, learn, and change. Sulphur Springs School and its faculty and staff have helped me to be a successful student, and they have put me on the right path for an exceptional future.
My most unforgettable teacher at Sulphur Springs School was Mrs. Mary Beth Larimer in fourth grade. Mrs. Larimer was the funniest, the loudest, and the most energetic teacher I ever had. She made learning fun, and I loved going to her class every day.
Mrs. Larimer liked to challenge her students. She put math challenge problems on the board weekly. The questions were hard, but they made us better math students. She gave out math trophies at the end of the year to the students with the most math challenge points.
Mrs. Larimer always said, “I love math because math makes sense.” Also, she told us to keep science journals and draw colorful pictures in them about science lessons. I still remember the water cycle because I drew it, colored it, and labeled it, and it turned out to be a beautiful picture. I still have my science journal, and it is full of creative science diagrams and visuals.
At the same time, Mrs. Larimer motivated me to love reading. She introduced us to the 39 Clues book series, and we read the first one in the series together in class. I was hooked! I couldn’t stop reading the rest of the collection. At the end of the school year, she gave a trophy to the student with the most Accelerated Reader reading points.
Lastly, Mrs. Larimer taught me to be a good writer. She always said, “Write like you talk.” She said: “If you write about Dollywood, you wouldn’t say, ‘I went to Dollywood. It was fun. I rode the Wild Eagle. It was fun.’ You would say, ‘I went to Dollywood with my Nana, Papaw, and cousins. It was awesome! I rode the Wild Eagle, and it was so fast that I nearly had a heart attack!”
She encouraged me to write a speech and an essay for a 4-H contest. I won third place at the county competition for my speech, and Mrs. Larimer was there to cheer me on. The following year, I won first place for my 4-H essay and was asked to read it for our county commissioner’s meeting, and then I won first place at the regional competition for my speech. That summer First Lady, Michelle Obama, sent me a letter congratulating me on my accomplishments. Mrs. Larimer always encouraged her students to enter competitions, and since having Mrs. Larimer in the fourth grade, I have collected many ribbons, trophies, and prize money.
Another thing about Mrs. Larimer that is unique is how she taught us to love Tennessee culture and to love our school. She persuaded us to wear our Sulphur Springs or Tennessee Volunteers T-shirts on Fridays. She taught us how to square dance, and she took us to the University of Tennessee’s Clyde Austin 4-H Center to learn canoeing, archery, and riflery. She even encouraged a fellow student to bring his fiddle to class and play Rocky Top for us. Mrs. Larimer also attends almost all of our school’s athletic events, and when I play soccer, I can hear her cheering and yelling my name. When I look at the crowd, I can see her with her bright red hair. She will be wearing her Sulphur Springs T-shirt, and cheering for us.
Sulphur Springs School has put me on the right path for a successful future. The math lessons, the science guidance, the writing encouragement, and the cultural experience that I have received from my teachers will help me be a better student in high school and college. I want to be a teacher when I grow up, just like Mrs. Larimer. I want to make learning fun like she does, make kids laugh like she does, and show love like she does.
Sulphur Springs School is not only a small Tennessee school in the country, but it is a place where kids grow and learn to be successful. My future looks bright because of Sulphur Springs School and its faculty and staff. I will always be thankful for Mrs. Larimer and all of my wonderful teachers, and I will always be proud of my Sulphur Springs School.