Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Orangeburg, SC-- "Welcome to the kingdom!"
That's the chant visitors are greeted by when they walk into Craig King's third grade class.
The Kingdom is a fitting name, crowned by his students. They all behave and focus on King like he's their fearless leader. But the students say he rules with a sense of humor.
"Mr. King is funny and we laugh while we learn," said Theodore Reed.
"You can actually bond with him and have fun," said William McFadden.
"It's hard to get male teachers,” Whittaker Elementary principal Bettie Hicks told News19. "He did his student teaching here with us and I was really impressed and I had to go chase him."
Hicks says she literally had to take him away from another school district. He was so good he was heavily recruited.
"He was," she said while laughing, “When I said I went after him, I literally went after him."
But becoming king of this classroom castle wasn't without it's epic battle. He says he owes his success to his new outlook on life.
"Everyday I get to wake up, it's a blessing and I just love my job," said King, a 2004 SC State alum.
The 25-year-old King fought bone cancer just before his teaching career started. And says his life was spared because of the role he's playing now.
"Everyday that I get to come here and teach kids is amazing because there was a good chance I didn't have to be here," he said.
King says he owes his drive to a famous quote from his hero, who happens to share the same last name, Martin Luther King Jr.
"'Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve' and that's, what I feel I'm doing here at Whittaker elementary school."
He also volunteers with Camp Kemo, a summer camp for children with cancer. He also goes to Washington, DC each year to advocate for the American Cancer Society. And this year he'll head up the Whittaker Elementary Relay for Life team.
Lewis Turner, Reporter - WLTX 19
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