First-year teacher reunites with elementary principal who inspired her career

Amy Denney surprised Mikellie Grant in her classroom. (Source: KTIV)
Published: Sep. 1, 2023 at 11:15 AM CDT
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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV/Gray News) – A first-year teacher in Iowa was reunited Thursday with her hero who inspired her to become a teacher.

This is Mikellie Grant’s first year teaching eighth-grade history at West Middle School in Sioux City. She’s in the same district as her elementary school principal, the woman she says changed her life.

Grant and her family moved to Sioux City from Seattle, Washington, when she was in fourth grade. The move was hard on Grant and affected her time at school until she met Amy Denney.

“She was a constant safe place for me to be, and that became my lifeline. That’s what got me to go to school and to keep going,” Grant said. “As I got older and reflected on that, I was thinking of the difference one adult can have and the impact that one adult can have on a kid. I wanted to do that.”

Her story came full circle Thursday when Denney surprised Grant in her classroom.

“It’s so cool that I get to have this experience because so many people don’t. And to know that there are people that understand and that can be supportive is very helpful because this job is no joke. It’s tough,” Grant said.

They spent time after the surprise catching up and talking about Grant’s first year as a teacher.