Unsung Hero: Carrie Plummer - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Unsung Hero: Carrie Plummer

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MT. VERNON -- A Jefferson County teacher received a special award after going through a tough tragedy earlier this year.

Carrie Plummer was honored earlier this week with the Modern Woodmen of American Hometown Hero Award.

"I humbly accept, but struggle to really take in," said Carrie. "Just because I feel like I come to school and do what I do because that's just what we do."

Carrie has been a teacher at Dr. Nick Osborne Primary Center in Mt. Vernon for 17 years. 

She's worked with principal Shannon Marler for 16 years.

"She spends a lot of time in school and out of school working with her families making sure that her students needs are met and that the family's needs are met," said Shannon.

Shannon says there are many teachers at this school deserving of this award, especially Carrie.

"I feel like every one of us comes to school with a passion and a desire," said Carrie, "and if it wasn't there we wouldn't come anymore. Because it's about the kids and you can not teach without a love and a passion and a desire to be here."

This year has been tough on Carrie and her students.

7-year-old Aneil Patton died in March from a type of chronic arthritis.

Carrie developed a close relationship with Aneil.

Shannon explains how involved Carrie was while Aneil was ill.

"I saw compassion, and I saw dedication, and I saw a love grow like no other," said Shannon.

Carrie talked to her students about Aneil during his illness and after his death too.

Through this tragedy, Carrie says she learned a lot about herself and her students too.

She's glad that something good came from that experience.

"Someone noticed that I care and that's nice," said Carrie as she choked back tears, "and I can stand and take that as long as it represents every teacher and how much we do and how much we love."

Carrie's students agree that she's one of a kind.

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