Teachers Getting Results: Rowan County teacher continues work despite cancer

FOX 46 recognizes teachers getting results inside the classroom.

This week, we meet an inspiring educator who doesn't even let cancer keep her from her students.

"She's not just a teacher," said Grace Academy Administrative Assistant Jessica Courtney. "She's part of our family."

Drivers on Highway 152 in Rockwell will find a message right off the road. It says “Fight like a Gurley.”

"This way, everyone that passes by knows this means something to all of us," said Courtney.

"Fight like a Gurley” is a slogan representing the breast cancer battle that kindergarten teacher Chandi Gurley is beating.

"I think that first phone call was tough," Gurley said. "But I don't like to lose. So it never occurred to me that I would lose."

Mrs. Gurley is FOX 46 Charlotte's 'Teacher Getting Results' this week.  She's in her second year of teaching at Grace Academy in Rockwell.  She hasn't let her breast cancer battle hold her back.

"I felt I had a choice once I got diagnosed," she said.  "I could sit and cry about it or I could keep going."

Even when she had to undergo five days a week of radiation for six weeks, she didn't miss a beat inside the classroom.

"It's kindergarten, so it's nonstop," she said.  "From the time you walk in to the time you walk out, you don't have a lot of time to think about much else.  A lot of times in the afternoon, I would forget I was leaving early because we were so involved and having so much fun."

A fighter, Mrs. Gurley stops at nothing to make a difference for people both inside the classroom and out.

"If it brings awareness and people check, it's okay I had it," she said.

And she always puts her students before herself.

"I want them leaving my classroom knowing they had a good time," Gurley said.  "They can read, they can write, that's great, but did they have fun? Did they make friends? Did they want to come here every day?

"She enjoys seeing her kids learn," said Grace Academy Principal Frank File. "And that's the most important thing."