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Rachel Bunker wins KENS 5 EXCEL Award for Boerne ISD

Her sixth-graders are quick to say Bunker's 'No Judgement Zone' makes all the difference between their success or failure.

BOERNE, Texas — We’re celebrating a big milestone at KENS 5, launching the 25th year of our KENS 5 EXCEL Award, in partnership with Credit Human. It’s our way of saying thank you and recognizing the hard working educators in our area who dedicate their lives to serving children at schools.

Our team, including KENS 5 Morning Anchor Sarah Forgany, visits 19 area school districts and at each of them, we honor one nominee with our EXCEL award which includes a $1,000 check from Credit Human. We also highlight the teacher in a special segment that airs Tuesday Mornings on KENS at 6a.m.

This year we kick off the new school year with a star at Boerne Middle School North at Boerne ISD. Starring in her own car commercial, Rachel Bunker’s bigger than life personality is contagious.

“There's me and I'm walking up to it and I do this, like, sexy hand roll like this,” Bunker said as she jokingly described what it was like filming that commercial. 

Boerne ISD chose Bunker to be the face of the Boerne Ford car commercial which plays out during all football games.

"Every person in the district sent me video of their hands and it's just been fun.”

But she’s the first to tell you fun doesn't just come in a fancy car, This is where I belong,” referring to her math classroom she pointed out it’s just as much of a jam.

“This is my niche, this is my jam.”

You don't often hear those two words in the same sentence math and jam, but Bunker finds a way to break through the intimidating part and turn math into an enjoyable subject for her sixth-grade class.

I let them know that it's not the perfection, it's the progress over the perfection.That progress is the way to building their self confidence.

Her students are quick to say Bunker’s 'No Judgement Zone' makes all the difference between their success or failure.

Keller Stakes says he went from dreading the subject to the other extreme.

 I actually I used to despise math and it's actually way more fun now because I actually know how to do it.”

Bunker’s favorite equation to attract their attention doesn't involve numbers, instead she focuses on individual connections and setting expectations.

They know what to do when they go in the classroom. It's from day one. This is the pattern. This is what they do it and I know that for some kids who struggle with behaviors, they do like that part of I know what to do.”

She recalled her first job out of Texas A&M was working at a group home for emotionally disturbed children. She says the experience has helped who she is as a teacher today.

You saw kids that were struggling and kids that didn't have the support that they needed.”

Wanting to give children that support is what eventually led her to the classroom. Bunker says her own son’s teacher inspired her. 

 Whatever she did just lit a fire with my child and that's what I wanted to do.” 

 17 years ago she made the decision to transition into education. 

 You are that mama to these kids and if you're not, you're in the wrong business.”

A business that takes patience, passion, and a promise to stay committed. It also takes natural talent that no doubt Bunker can showcase.  Her Ford Commercial is just one example and although she didn’t get to keep the Mustang, Bunker says she has something even better.

 The emails that I get from kidsdo get a lot of positive feedback so I know that I'm making a difference. I know that I'm making an impact.”

And you just can’t put a price tag on that. 

 I know that my love language is acts of service and that's what helps me connect with other people, because I know that if I'm doing that for them, that's the way I show I love them. “

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