Shelita Close named Grace Ed Hero

Published 9:22 am Wednesday, June 1, 2022

As the school year comes to a close and seniors receive their honors at graduation, Bainbridge High School recently honored one of their teachers in another significant way. Grace Ed Technologies (GET) has an annual contest where they honor three educators from throughout the state as Teacher Heroes. This year, one of those three was Bainbridge High School’s Shelita Close.

Before she was a teacher at BHS, Close served in the US Army, the legacy of which is carried by one of her sons, Daryl Thompson, who serves in the Air Force. Close began teaching at BHS as a parapro in 2012, and also currently serves as an Advisor to the BHS chapter of the National Honor Society. Close recently suffered a breast cancer diagnosis, and has gone through multiple chemo treatments that have taken their toll. If she is unable to make it to class on a given day, she will work remotely with her students.

Close was nominated for the award by Principal Chris Merritt. “She is truly an inspiration to our entire school community and epitomizes the heroic spirit,” Merritt said in his nomination letter. For winning GET’s Teacher HERO award, Close was awarded a certificate, as well as $1,000. Close was also voted BHS’s Teacher of the Year as well.

“My classroom is my safe haven. When I am there, I treat each child the way I would want someone to treat my sons,” Close told the Post-Searchlight. “They (my children) are adults now, but at some point in life, they may need help-they may need someone to point them in the right direction. I feel in my heart that by giving to other children, students, and people, my sons will receive that plus more.”

“It’s not always easy, but my personal goal is to treat each child that I encounter as if he/she is my own. That is what makes the difference!” she concluded.