Ashley Rutherford is the new first grade teacher at Pinetta Elementary. Rutherford grew up in Madison and her parents are Gene and Teresa Rutherford. She has one sister, Allyce Harvard and one brother, Lucas Rutherford. She graduated from Madison County High School in 2008. After high school, she moved to Tallahassee to get her A.A. from Tallahassee Community College. Rutherford has always worked with children, from babysitting to working in daycares, so she decided to move back to Madison and get her degree in Elementary Education at Saint Leo University. “Unforgettable teachers inspired me to become a teacher. Two of my favorite teachers when I was in elementary school were Mrs. Gray and Mrs. Page,” said Rutherford. “They both were very caring and made learning fun. Now as a first grade teacher I know what my elementary teachers were faced with on a daily basis. I have learned that patience and a positive attitude are important to inspiring students to become successful learners.” Rutherford enjoys teaching because she finds it a very rewarding experience to see her students learn, improve and reach their full potential. “The best part is to see the satisfaction they get out of themselves and realizing they can do it,” said Rutherford. Her main goals for her class are to improve her students’ academic performance, increase their motivation to achieve and create a balance of differentiated strategies to meet the needs of all learners. “I look forward to seeing the progress of my students and the growth they make throughout the year,” said Rutherford. “As an educator, I feel like there is always room to grow. I look forward to learning new things from my colleagues.” Outside of work, Rutherford enjoys exercising and spending time with friends and family.