Heart-warming send-off for Guntersville Elementary teacher and Army reserve soldier

Kindergarten teacher Rachel White honored before 13-month deployment
WAFF 48's Savannah Sapp reporting
Published: Sep. 29, 2023 at 5:14 PM CDT

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Students and faculty of Guntersville Elementary School say goodbye to a beloved kindergarten teacher... for now. Rachel White, a kindergarten teacher serving in the Army Reserves is gearing up for a deployment in El Paso, Texas.

”Today’s Miss White’s last day with us before she’s deployed on October 5th,” says Guntersville Elementary principal John Doyle.

The entire student body of Guntersville Elementary School came together Friday morning to honor White with a special program.

She says she had no idea what her fellow teachers had planned.

“No, I just thought we were going to have lunch as a team. So I was very surprised. Hearing the kids chant “USA” was probably the highlight of the whole thing,” White says.

White entered the Gym at Guntersville Elementary to find her past and current students waiting for her arrival, loudly chanting the letters U-S-A. One faculty member read a poem she wrote for White and the student body sang to her.

“Gratitude. I was very grateful and I just felt very appreciated and loved by everyone here. Looking around and seeing all of my previous students that I’ve taught, my class that I’m currently teaching was a great feeling,” says White

Principal John Doyle says he taught White when she was a sophomore at Guntersville High School.

He says she will always have a home at Guntersville Elementary.

“Miss White’s awesome. She was one of my former students. I knew way back in tenth grade she was going to do great things. We’re blessed to have her with us here at Guntersville Elementary and look forward to having her back as soon as she returns,” Doyle says.

White plans to resume teaching kindergarten at Guntersville Elementary once her 13 months are finished.

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