Everyone smiles in the same language in Perry Township

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PERRY TOWNSHIP, Ind. (WTHR) - "Bloom where you're planted." That's what one teacher here in Marion County hopes you'll do, and that's what she tries to get her students in Perry Township to do as well. Every morning, Maggie Corthell greets students with a smile as they head into Homecroft Elementary School. Anyone will tell you, she provides the sunshine on a foggy day.

"She just has that effect on people," said Homecroft Elementary School Master Teacher Laura Buchmeier. "Everybody loves Maggie."

Corthell started teaching at Homecroft 10 years ago. She makes learning fun. She breaks it down and begins with the basics. It needs to be spelled out and simplified because English is their second language.

"We have every language here right in Perry Township," said Corthell. "Seven dialects of Chin Burmese. We have Spanish. We have Arabic."

Corthell speaks Spanish. She spent some time in the Peace Corps in Nicaragua. She says she loves being around children who speak different languages.

"Every one smiles in the same language, and so we can start with that," said Carthell. "We may not speak all the different dialects that we have here in Perry Township. We have quit a few, but we can smile and show love and caring. That's where it all starts."

For Corthell, it starts and ends with her faith.

"I have to give a shout out to my role model every day of my life," said Corthell. "My Lord and Savior. Jesus Christ. I just wake up every day with the mission that I want to spread his love and joy everywhere I go."

And whether she's playing the bongos at church or shaping young lives in the classroom, she's always a ray of sunshine.

"She goes above and beyond for our students," said Buchmeier. "She loves them like her own. She is like a living saint. They know they're loved when they're with her."

If you there's someone in your life who is "A Ray of Sunshine," send WTHR Weekend Sunrise Anchor Alyssa Raymond an e-mail: alyssa.raymond@wthr.com.

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