36-year Pinellas Co. teacher sees former students become teachers

- Teachers touch the lives and minds of students every day, and one in Pinellas County has seen her impact come full circle - with former students becoming teachers alongside her. 

Shelly Stebbins' legacy at Seminole Elementary School is undeniable. She's walked the same halls for 36-years, teaching fourth and fifth grades. 

Now that Mrs. Stebbins is retiring, she talked with FOX 13 News about how her career has touched so many.

"It touches my heart, it really touches my heart, and I feel really blessed to be a teacher for this long," Mrs. Stebbins said. "Teaching, you don't get a lot of money. That's not why you are in it, but it is when these kids come back and they have done something wonderful."

For Mrs. Stebbins, something wonderful, in some cases, means seeing former students become teachers who will continue her legacy at the school.

Jennifer Conde was a student in Mrs. Stebbins' classroom, and is now a kindergarten teacher at Seminole.

"We would do fun things, relay races for vocabulary, things really out of the box, and it's just very inspiring," Conde said, adding with a laugh, "I wanted to grow up to be like Mrs. Stebbins."

Mrs. Stebbins took her fourth-grade class to Conde's kindergarten class to create relationships between younger and older students.

"Its wonderful working with her." Shelly said.

Shelly started out in college as a interior design major, but, deep down, always wanted to be a teacher.

"I went with my passion of teaching," she said. "When people look back and think, 'Mrs. Stebbins,' I hope they just see a big heart and know that I loved my classes throughout all these years." 

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