Ellen Moser, a kindergarten teacher from South Kortright, is this week's "Hometown Hero."

"Anytime a parent wants to talk with her, she will give up her family time to speak with them," the person who nominated Ellen said. "It is teachers like her that make a difference in this world."

As part of the “Hometown Heroes” series, we’ve partnered with County Waste and Latham Ford to celebrate local unsung heroes for their good deeds and honorable work.

We asked Ellen a few questions about her work. Here’s what she had to say:

Q: What inspired you to become a teacher?

A: I always enjoyed helping people. I began my career as a speech/language therapist and when I went to pursue my master's, I chose special ed and regular ed as my next degree because I fell in love with special needs students, especially down syndrome students. Teaching kindergarten was a perfect fit for me. I could spend all day with students of varying abilities helping them to learn and grow.

Q: What's the most rewarding thing about what you do?

A: I get to spend my day with 5- and 6-year-olds who make me laugh and smile.  Kindergarteners grow so quickly in so many ways. I love to watch their love for learning, love of school, and the development of so many lasting friendships.  I get to meet and work with so many great families who work together with me to make their child’s first year of school successful.

Q: What are some of the challenges?

A: The new core curriculum that came out a couple years ago without training and materials has created stress for all involved. Also, the new teacher evaluations and all the assessments and paperwork that go along with that take you more and more away from being able to have the time to creatively plan your lessons. At the kindergarten level, it is more paperwork for students and less hands-on learning, which doesn’t feel right to me.

Q: Do you consider yourself a hero? Why or why not?

A: I do not believe that I am a hero. I am blessed and thankful to spend every day with the sweetest, cutest 5- and 6-year-olds who just make me happy. I get to work with great, supportive families within a wonderful community and work alongside fellow teachers and support staff who are so dedicated and talented.

To nominate our next “Hometown Hero,” click here.