LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Students who call themselves the “Kohler Babies” are paying back the support one Moss Bluff teacher gave them as she battles a serious health crisis.
Ms. Kohler says she had a different way of teaching her students.
“I’ve taught for 41 years, so I started with sixth grade and worked my way up to high school," Kohler said. "I fell into American history. I was a field trip queen and we went on many field trips. You can’t really learn things from just books. I was in the habit of teaching life lessons along with history lessons.”
And it’s something her former students certainly appreciated.
“One thing she taught me was to give back,” says Brandon Martin. “She always put on USO shows just so students could invite local military. They would come and see how grateful we are for their service. She would put all of that together. And later on in years I worked for a radio station and I would camp out for the homeless through Abrahams Tent and I could always count on Ms. Kohler to come on by.”
Another former student, Stormi Sonnier, says what stuck with her the most is just how much she cared about her students, “I think what really stuck out for me about her is after we left, in my senior class of 2004 at Sam Houston, we’ve had a classmate who had passed away in the past. She was one of the very first people to reach out to us, to our whole entire class. On our class page on Facebook to see if we needed anything and to be there for us.”
“They’re Kohler babies,” says Ms. Kohler. "And once a Kohler baby always a Kohler baby. So many times things come full circle and I pray for my kids, with all their problems, I pray for them. Well, I received bad news from my doctors. My heart is functioning at 10 percent and my kidneys are failing. I cannot believe how many posts, emails, and private messages I’ve received, it’s thousands.
Sonnier says it’s time for her students to pay their teacher back.
“Now her time, when she’s not doing well, every single person that she has taught has reached out to her," Sonnier said. "They took pen to paper and she got a huge stacks of cards of all the love and all the support that she has from all of us and it’s from her being there for us all these years.”
And at the end of the day, Ms. Kohler says this is everything she could have hoped for.
“I started teaching not because I wanted a big paycheck, but this is my paycheck," Kohler said. "My paycheck from all students, the parents, the families that are praying for me, that’s the paycheck. I thank you so much.”
Ms. Kohler says all of the love and prayers are making a big difference. She is currently set to receive a pacemaker on June 11.