Tazewell County teacher defeats cancer twice, continues her passion for teaching

TAZEWELL COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A teacher in Tazewell County continues to pursue her passion of teaching after battling and defeating cancer twice. Sarah Jones is a third grade teacher at Graham Intermediate School in the southwest Virginia county. She’s been teaching for eight years. Teaching is a job she said she always wanted to do.

In 2011 when she was teaching at Dudley Primary School, her world was turned upside down. She was diagnosed with a type of bone cancer called Ewing Sarcoma.

“Throughout my whole experience with that, I missed being in the classroom but I felt like I was still there,” Jones said. “The parents and teachers of Dudley and Graham Intermediate, just the Bluefield, Virginia community as a whole was so supportive.”

After treatment, she returned to work in 2013. The cancer eventually returned and in 2015, she was diagnosed with cancer for a second time. Jones made a second comeback in April of 2016 and is now cancer-free once again.

“I hope that in the process of me coming back and teaching, or as the children have seen me going through what I’ve gone through, I can make an impact on someone’s life for the better,” Jones said.

The principal at Graham Intermediate, Todd Baker expressed his admiration for Jones.

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“I would definitely call her a hero,” Baker said.

Jones said she owes it all others.

“I have a wonderful group of students. I am back doing what I love. I feel that God has put me here for a reason,” she said.

Jones was named 2016 Teacher of the Year for southwest Virginia and southern West Virginia. She graduated from Bluefield College in 2008.

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