ST. JOHN, Ind. — In her Spanish classroom at Lake Central High School in St. John, Indiana, 25-year veteran teacher Rose Kennedy feels right at home.
"My mother is from Argentina, my father is Mexican descent, so we have a rich culture growing up and I liked to teach so I put the two together," she said. I like the relationship with the kids, I like feeling like I’m a positive role model."
The flags of the countries the students study are all on display, but it’s the color pink that stands out. Kennedy was diagnosed with breast cancer in July.
"When I walked in the day before my first treatment, they had gotten into the room and decorated and put those balloons up there," Kennedy said. "So they’re like, 'Every Friday morning we want you to pop a balloon and inside is a motivational quote,' so I replace the balloon with a quote every Friday morning after my treatment, which is great and it helps me."
"She has that drive to always keep going, always stay strong no matter what happens and that is important to keep up," said nominating student Aiyana Trevino.
To honor Kennedy’s commitment to her students, award sponsor Ken Allen presented her with a $1,000 check.
"It’s a tough job and sometimes you feel like you are doing your best, but not always do you get any credit and I will accept credit this time. I’m not really great at accepting credit but I will take it this time. I think it was sent for a reason," Kennedy said.