Ms. Young with students gathered around learning how to measure.

Buncombe County Schools (BCS) employs thousands of extraordinary staff across the district. BCS takes pride in recruiting the best in order to inspire, educate, encourage, and elevate students on a daily basis. As a way to honor the hard work and dedication that staff pour into our school community, we are recognizing those who go above and beyond to make BCS the best. This BCS Staff Spotlight recognizes first-grade teacher Shirley Young of Emma Elementary. 

Ms. Young has passionately devoted 48 years to shaping young minds. She has become a well-known figure around the school as she has taught several generations of families, siblings, and fellow teachers. 

“I enjoy the students and learning new things,” said Ms. Young. “Teaching is a valuable profession because it reaches and molds so many lives. I love being a part of each student’s life, helping to make a difference. That keeps me going as a teacher.”

Take a step into Ms. Young’s class and behold a classroom of happy students eager to learn. Her love for her school community resonates throughout the halls of Emma as she has unknowingly impacted so many lives.

“She loves learning new and creative ways to teach,” said Instructional Assistant Kathy Hooker. “It’s easy to see that she is not here just for a paycheck, but is here to make a difference for the students she cares about.”

“I love how fun Ms. Young is with all the kids,” said third grader Jace. “She always smiles and is a funny teacher.”

“She is always happy and loves all the children,” said first grader Isaac. 

Many say the love Ms. Young pours into the school makes Emma excellent. 

“Mrs.Young is an asset to Emma Elementary,” said Principal Carla Shipman. “She strives every day to be the best teacher she can be. She builds relationships with students and families through communication. It is evident in her smile that her favorite place to be is in the classroom nurturing her students.” 

During Ms. Young’s career, she has seen many faces walk the halls of Emma Elementary. She humbly said she works alongside many other great educators, and collectively, they make Emma an ideal place to learn and grow. 

“I do not feel like I am anything special, I am just a dedicated teacher who works to help students learn and grow,” she said. “With the exception of being here for almost 48 years, I am just like the other teachers here at Emma — working to build a future that shines in each child.”

Ms. Young helping a student with a math problem.