LAS VEGAS (FOX5) – For one Las Vegas woman, the pandemic opened her eyes to how important teachers are in kids' lives. Now, she's becoming one.

Holly Grinstead is in CCSD’s Accelerated Licensure Teacher Academy (ALTA), and is currently training to become a teacher by sitting in on virtual classrooms during distance learning.

"Teachers are just balancing so much more now with the technology, between toggling the different programs, dealing with keeping the kids engaged, with that camera,” said Grinstead.

Grinstead said she is not easily afraid of a challenge. The single mom is a law school graduate with her J.D., and she works for an in-house legal counsel.

But law is not the only thing she's doing right now, she's also training to become a teacher.

"I really saw how the kids were really suffering through all this,” said Grinstead.

She said she's always wanted to teach, but the pandemic gave her that final push.

"For me it is the perfect timing, and I think what makes it so exciting, is that I can make a change in these difficult times right now. And there's nothing more rewarding than that,” said Grinstead. “School really does play an important part, and I think that everybody, not just the kids, it all came to light in 2020. So I wanted to be a part of that."

Grinstead said she saw a greater need recently.

Teacher desk generic

"I mean it's no surprise that, going into August, that we're going to see a lot of our teachers retiring this year too,” she said.

She is currently two months into CCSD’s ALTA program, which turns locals like Grinstead into licensed teachers in just three months.

Come August, she said she’ll have her own classroom of third or fourth graders, ideally. She also said she is hoping she will be placed in a school serving disadvantaged youth.

"I didn't want to go where my son was going to school. I didn't want to just teach for the heck of it. I wanted to go where there was going to be need,” said Grinstead.

She said she plans to turn that need into something positive for future generations. "Young minds that are going to be the next lawyers or the next doctors, you know?"

If you are interested in following her lead, and have a bachelor's degree that's not in education, CCSD encourages you to join ALTA. Click here to learn more.

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