MPW.69 / 2017 Kids Come First by Adam Vogler
Photographer
Adam Vogler Van Buren, Ark.
Team Chapnick

Story Summary

Kendra Harwood has wanted to be a teacher for as long as she can remember. She grew up attending Eldon public schools and, for the past two months, the 22 year-old has been teaching first grade in the same elementary school she attended as a child.

Harwood works six days a week to ensure the students under her care are not only educated, but also made to feel safe and loved. It is a responsibility she knows well, having inherited it from her mother, a former math teacher and current principal at Eldon High School.

When Harwood was younger people would approach her mom and tell her how much of an impact she had on their lives. “I hear it all the time,” she said. “I want to do that for kids so bad, I want to get older and I want people to say you had such a huge impact on their life.”

When her mother found out Kendra was following in her footsteps, She gave her a simple motto: “Kids come first.”