TOTY Spotlight: Kristi Reynolds

Kristi Reynolds was named Teacher of the Year at Satilla Marsh Elementary School. She has taught pre-K through fifth grades as a homeroom, EIP and intervention teacher. Here are some awesome things you should know.


Family: I am married to Kelly Reynolds, and we have a blended family of six children and six grandchildren.  

Who is your role model? I have a super-duper trio of strong women as finalists, so it’s a toss-up. Both of my grandmothers were women of faith who put God and their families first. They made me feel loved and cherished each time I was with them, and that is a reminder of how I need to treat my students. My mom is the third person. She is a woman of many talents; she can sing, play the piano, cook, and is very smart. She, too, is a woman of faith, who along with my grandmothers, loved their families well. These three women gave of their time and talents unselfishly without expecting anything in return. I strive to be like them, and I thank God for my Christian heritage, which includes these strong women.

What book has most influenced you? Christy, by Catherine Marshall, is a true story of a teacher who started a school in the Smoky Mountains in 1912. She faced many hardships and obstacles but did her best to teach all 67 students in her care. 

What is your greatest teaching memory? My favorite memory would have to encompass all the time I spent in a classroom from October of 2019 – March of 2020. I took over a first-grade classroom later in the school year, and one of the students came to me and said: “Are you going to abandon us, too, like “she” did?” I did my best to catch them up academically, but more importantly, I tried to love them and develop trust and relationships with them. We had a positive classroom, and I did my best to reach them and teach them. In March of 2020, we left for COVID, but they remained my students via the internet. We continued to do some of our favorite things together, such as having read-aloud time. (Many were introduced to Little House on the Prairie at this time!) While that was a short year, that time will always provide confirmation of fulfilling my purpose. 

What is your favorite quote or personal motto? Begin each day with a grateful heart. 
What is a fact about you that most people don't know? I was on our local college’s first softball team as an outfielder. 

Any hidden talents or hobbies? I enjoy reading, spending time outdoors, working in my yards, teaching swimming lessons, hiking the Appalachian Trail, chasing waterfalls, and spending time with my family. I also love sunrises and sunsets; I’ve never seen one I do not like.