78 Photo Essay: Hallie Grace Muncher

Young teacher finds purpose in helping students grow.

Words by Nick Norris | Image by Blakeney Clouse

Children can be a lot to handle at times, and it takes a special person to appease kindergarteners who fill up the tiny chairs at an elementary school. Hallie Grace is certainly one of those people.

“It’s a challenge, but it’s a good challenge,” Hallie Grace said. “With kindergarteners, you’re teaching them everything like how to play, how to share, and how to recognize letters or words. You see a lot of growth for kids that age you might not see in other ages. They come in and might not be able to even write their name, but leave at the end of the year able to read.”

Teaching her students those crucial life skills is what Hallie Grace loves about working with this age group. For many of her students, her class is their first taste of a real school system. Instead of teaching straight from a textbook like she would in a high school class, Hallie Grace leaves an impression on her much-younger students in more tangible ways. And it’s not always a walk in the park. 

“Thankfully, all the teachers here are a tight-knit group of people,” Hallie Grace said. “I would not have made it without them because the first year is such a learning experience. They got me through it and helped me become a better teacher, too.”

Now, Hallie Grace is well into her second year at Sumiton Elementary and enjoying every second of it. She loves her students, her coworkers, and the job itself. It’s easy to see she has found her purpose in molding young children into smarter, happier, and more capable students.

“I really do love being a kindergarten teacher,” Hallie Grace said. “I don’t think I’d ever want to teach a different age.” 78



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