Without that emotional and social support, some students would never pay attention to the academic part.”

“Somehow... my battle with cancer and my overcoming it has a purpose for God’s glory.” -Sarah Cordill Jones

But in 2015, just two years after returning to teaching, Jones received more devastating news. The cancer had returned, this time as a spot on her left lung. Finding it early in its growth, doctors were able to remove it, after which Jones had to undergo six months of chemotherapy treatments. “The second diagnosis was crushing,” she said. “However, I learned so much from the first time around, I just thought there was something else I needed to do or learn. I truly believe God is in control and has a plan for me. My prayer is that I use my second shot to do what God wants me to do.” And taking full advantage of her second chance is exactly what Jones is doing. In fact, as a result of her courageous battle with cancer, her remarkable return to the classroom, and above all the impact she has on her students, who now call her “a fighter” and “a hero,” Jones was recently named the 2016

Teacher of the Year for southwest Virginia and southern West Virginia. Dozens of teachers from secondary schools across the region were nominated for the prestigious award, sponsored by the Bluefield Daily Telegraph and Cole Chevrolet of

Sarah Cordill Jones, teaching and doing what she loves most after two bouts with cancer.

Bluefield, West Virginia. Two Bluefield College grads, Jones and 2012 BC alumnus Ethan Lewis, another fourth grade

teacher at Graham Intermediate School, were among the finalists for the honor, but Jones stood out as the most deserving.

“I feel very blessed,” she said about being selected Teacher of the Year. “I love teaching. I enjoy it. I truly feel that teaching is what I have been called to do. I cannot imagine doing anything else with my life.” Cancer free and back in the classroom, hopefully for good this time, Jones said that not all days are easy as she continues to recover from the disease. She admitted that she sometimes gets nervous about “every little ache and pain” and the possibility of a reoccurrence. But, she added, she has “an amazing support system” in her family, friends and particularly her husband, Jamie, who she said has been her “rock” with his optimism, encouragement and faith. “Somehow, and I don’t understand it, but my battle with cancer and my overcoming it, has a purpose for God’s glory,” said Jones. “I might never realize what it is, but I know there is a reason. My prayer is that with my second chance at life I can make an impact in my students’ lives. I hope I can teach them to overcome their struggles and see God’s love in what I do.”


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