Ms. Candy Willoughby has been a teacher for 17 years.

Why did you decide to become a teacher?
As a teenager, I babysat for a family whose youngest child had special needs. This little one created in me a desire to be the champion to assist students with special needs to be successful in all areas of their lives, academically, behaviorally, socially and emotionally.

What is a goal of yours as a teacher?
To provide an environment for all students to feel loved, secure and free to challenge themselves to be their best.

What is something your students don’t know about you?
I never learned to ride a bike until I graduated from college.

Is there a quote or saying that you live by?
In a hundred years…the most important thing will be if you made a difference in the life of a child.

What is your favorite book and why?
Anne of Green Gables. The author’s use of language created such vivid imagery that made me fall in love [with] the late 19th century era.

Do you have any interesting hobbies?
Binge-watching Hallmark movies with my daughter, going to Disney, cooking.

What would you like to see changed in the schools?
In a perfect world more time to teach, less paperwork, more funding for education, increased parental involvement, but honestly I love what I do.

Teacher of the Month Valrico is sponsored by Brenda Wade at Signature Realty