Ava Rupert’s Legacy of Inspiration at Boonsboro Elementary School

by | Mar 2024

AVA RUPERT stands as a stable figure in the corridors of Boonsboro Elementary School. Her presence is a testament to a lifelong dedication to education. With nine years of service at Boonsboro Elementary and a cumulative teaching and coaching experience spanning over a quarter-century, Rupert’s commitment to shaping young minds resonates deeply within the school’s community. She has taught kindergarten and first grade and is currently the fourth-grade Virginia studies and science teacher. The 2024 Boonsboro Elementary School Teacher of the Year Award is in safe, deserving hands.

During her college years, she sowed the seeds of her passion for teaching, beginning her journey into the realm of education. After teaching in a small private school for some time, life’s path diverged when Rupert’s daughter was born. She embraced motherhood, stepping away from the classroom for eight years. However, the yearning to teach persisted, leading her back to the profession she cherished. Initially returning to teach pre-K, Rupert eventually found herself guiding kindergarteners through their formative years.

Rupert’s career trajectory pivoted last summer when her principal extended the opportunity to teach fourth-grade Virginia studies and science. Many of these students had once graced her kindergarten classroom before the upheavals of the COVID-19 pandemic forced a hiatus. Rupert’s transition to instructing older students was seamless, fueled by the trust and rapport she had built with students and parents over the years. 

“I knew these kids and their parents, and they trusted me and knew I was competent. Now, I look at some of these students, and I feel like they are my children because of the relationships established with them and their parents. I’ve had some of these kids two or three times. I’ve gotten to know them on so many levels — a perk of the small school.” 

In a small school, classmates and educators feel like family.

“We see kids all the way through their elementary experience. If there are 60-70 kids in one kindergarten class, typically, they stay in one school since there isn’t a big transient population here. At the end of the year, we do what’s called a ‘fifth-grade clap out.’ We have flashbacks like, ‘Oh wow, I remember you in kindergarten!’ Whereas in bigger schools, you may not ever see kids again.”

Rupert’s dedication extends beyond the walls of the classroom. From mentoring student teachers to coaching sports teams and contributing to school committees, her multifaceted contributions prove she is a cornerstone of Boonsboro Elementary.

Something as small as an interaction with a former student at the grocery store serves as a reminder of her purpose. Such moments, she believes, embody the enduring impact of education.

“I remember my students, and they remember me. I think in these smaller schools, it’s easier to remember all the kids. It’s amazing! We have kids at our school whose parents or grandparents went to Boonesboro, and we have a principal who retired a few years ago — she taught their parents and then became their children’s principal. Once an Eagle, always an Eagle.”

Looking to the future, Rupert’s commitment to teaching remains unwavering.

“I don’t know anything else. I’ve always coached and taught. It’s become a way of life for me. I know that during the time when I wasn’t teaching, I would see the buses go by and think, ‘I should be in school.’ I’m looking to stay in school as long as I can handle the rigor of it. I’ve had to dig deep into the reserves and remember what I was taught 30 years ago. I am going to continue to teach until I can’t.” 

For Rupert, the prospect of continuing to inspire young minds is not merely a profession. It’s a calling. Teaching defines a fundamental aspect of her character.

In the halls of Boonsboro Elementary, Rupert’s heart resonates with the palpable legacy that clings to every surface. Her reverence for the school’s history shines like a beacon, illuminating the hallways with a sense of nostalgia and awe. Boonsboro Elementary’s storied past, coupled with its role as a cornerstone of the Lynchburg community, underscores its significance as a place where generations of minds have been shaped and nurtured.

“I think since Boonsboro is one of the older schools in the county, there’s history as you walk through the building. You have plaques on the walls from graduating classes from the ‘40s and ‘50s — just right there in the heart of where people who would have lived years ago. And it was a small community school then, too. There are third generations of students attending schools for families who have lived in the Lynchburg area.”

As Rupert graciously accepts being named 2024 Boonsboro Elementary School Teacher of the Year, it’s evident that her gratitude towards Boonsboro Elementary is reciprocated by the school and its community. Rupert’s dedication and her enthusiasm for education continue to uplift and inspire generations of students, leaving a lasting legacy at Boonsboro Elementary School. GN 

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