January's Teacher That Makes A Difference
02/28/11
WMDT 47 News

View Clip

WESTOVER, Md. - Inmates at the Eastern Correctional Institution may be locked up, but a teacher at the prison is unlocking their minds making them excited to learn.

Mrs. Diane King has been an instructor at the Eastern Correctional Institution for about four years now. She currently teaches the GED program helping inmates like Thomas Rivera further their education. In October he received his GED. "I've been struggling my whole life, it hasn't been easy or nothing. I've never had nobody impact me the way Mrs. King has impact me," said Rivera.

Rivera says Mrs. King has changed his life, encouraging him and offering support, something he says he never had in his life.  That is why he nominated Mrs. King as this month's Teacher Who Is Making A Difference. "That's an awesome compliment for a teacher. That's what every teacher wants to hear. When he came into my class he was probably one of my most doubtful students he didn't think he could do it," said Mrs. King. Yet, she helped prove to Rivera and other students they can do it.

Since June, 39 inmates have passed their GED test in the East Compound. Rivera who is serving time for burglary is due to be released in 6 years and he is already dreaming of college. "Nothing is impossible if you have an education.  I'm not the brightest star in the sky, but I feel I have a lot more to shoot for now. I believe this is all made possible with the help of Mrs. King. "While Thomas Rivera wrote the letter of recommendation to WMDT, all of Mrs. Kings' students signed it.