MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Pamela Berry started her career at Stillwater’s St Croix Catholic School three decades ago and still has just as much passion as on day one.

“I just love working with all the children and their families, and the joy of seeing them learn new things and come so far from the beginning to the end,” she said.

As Berry helps her kindergarteners develop new skills, they help her too.

“I have bad days too but they bring me a lot of joy, especially during this difficult time. They’ve brought me a great amount of joy. I love them,” she said.

This summer, Berry suddenly lost the love her life, her husband Michael, after a short battle with cancer. Just a month later, Pepper, her dog of 15 years, passed away too.

Berry started the school year with a heavy heart, but didn’t want to miss one day with “her kids”, as she calls them.

“My kids just bring me joy. I’m happy when I’m with them and when I go home on the weekends I cry a lot because I don’t have anyone there to cheer me up like they do. I love them all,” she said.

“I think her gift is teaching and that is her sense of joy. So despite her challenges, it’s where she belongs and it’s a source of healing for her,” Jackie Garofalo, a parent, said.

Call it a testament to how much she loves teaching children. For her, enduring a great loss becomes a little less painful when they’re around.

“They’re never sad, they always have smiles on their faces. They love me even on my worst day,” she said.


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