UNSUNG HERO: Ted Odle - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois


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MARION -- In this Weeks Unsung Hero, school can be stressful for many students, especially when tackling challenging subjects. But, Marion native, Ted Odle, is making school a little easier for students and teachers.

Seven-year-old Kaylyn Johnson enjoys a little one-on-one time to help her with her homework.

"Math corrections, and studying," said Kaylyn. And it's a, certain teacher, she and other students at Washington Elementary School in Marion look forward to seeing every week.

"He always comes every Monday and I really love him," said Kaylyn.  

"I'm excited on the days that I get him because he gives me challenging word problems to work on," added fifth-grader Austin King.  

They're talking about, Ted Odle, who has spent most of his life in this building.

"I went to school when I was in this building when I was in second grade," said Mr. Odle.  

Mr. Odle earned his teaching degree in the early 90s, eventually taking a job as the Assistant Principal at Washington School for 19-years. He would later move to the junior high where he was the Dean of Students before retiring in May, 2016.

"We're here because we want to help kids and when you see the smiles and you see that light come on, that's why," added Mr. Odle.   

One day, first grade teacher, Lori Mausey saw Mr. Odle at a football game and asked him if he would be willing to come back, once again and this time as a volunteer. Of course, he said, yes.

"He's very willing to give us his own time to come in and do whatever the teachers need," said Mrs. Mausey. So once again, Mr. Odle found himself back where it all began.

"This has always been like my second family," said Mr. Odle.  

This year, Mr. Odle started a lunchtime club for accelerated Math.

"I'm trying to get some of these kids a little head start on some of this stuff, so when they get there, they're going, okay, yeah, I've got this," said Mr. Odle.  

"He explains other strategies than what the Math book says," added Austin.  

Mrs. Mausey, like so many others, describe Mr. Odle as humble and a positive role model for all ages.

"He's very kind and very considerate of all those around us, so I can take that and use that and hope to be a better teacher as well. And his impact has left a lasting impression on a lot of us," said Mrs. Mausey.  

 "Other people that can't get very good grades, get better grades based on Mr. Odle," said Austin. And for Mr. Odle, being there is like being home.

 "How can you not feel good when you're around kids?" 

If you know of someone doing exceptional work in your community, we want to hear about it. Send your Unsung Hero nominations to us here at the station in Carterville. You email us at news@wsiltv.com.  

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