Perry Elementary School is a building that was built over 117 years ago in Belvidere. Inside the old school house, is a teacher innovating towards the future.
"Her class is always on the cutting edge of things," raved Greg Zarembski from Perry Elementary.
Abigail Ernest is in her fourth year teaching 1st grade at Perry. For her it's the perfect age to teach.
"They're super sweet," said Ernest. "There's no crazy attitudes yet. They all love me. So every morning they all come in, even if my hair looks like a big mess, they're like you look beautiful Ms. Ernest! It's a perfect age to teach."
She comes from a long line of teachers.
Ernest said, "My mom is a teacher and my sister is a teacher and my other sister is a teacher. It's kind of a family thing."
But it's her bright personality that has helped make this colorful classroom her own.
"We have flexible seating in my classroom," said Ernest. "We have yoga balls that we have lap desks and stools. It's kind of neat for them. They enjoy being able to move around. There's no name tags on desks so they can go where ever they want to go."
A welcoming and active classroom. Energy felt and sometimes heard throughout the entire school.
"Very often her class can be heard singing, dancing and interacting with the curriculum," said Greg Zarembski.
Zarembski would know because his class is right above Ms. Ernest classroom. The 20 year teaching veteran doesn't mind the noise though. Instead, it invigorates his teaching style.
"Just by looking at the way she deals with her students to be a better teacher (challenges me) to step out of my own comfort zone as well. Along with her students to become that better teacher myself," said Zarembski.
Ms. Ernest inspire's students and teachers today to make for a brighter future tomorrow.