BROOKESMITH — When Kim Hancock was a girl and played “school,” she was the “teacher” and her stuffed animals were her “students.”

That shouldn’t be any surprise, as Hancock knew even then that she was going to be a teacher.

Hancock, an Early High School graduate, fulfilled that goal and teaches third grade at Brookesmith Elementary School. She’s been teaching there since 1995. She first worked as a substitute teacher beginning in 1994 in the Snyder, Brownwood and Early districts until starting her job in Brookesmith.

Hancock, an Illinois native, came to Brown County with her family in 1986  when her father, who worked for Pepsi, was transferred here. “From a young age I wanted to be teacher,” Hancock said. “I always loved school.”

Hancock never considered any other profession. “Teaching’s been it,” Hancock said.

After graduating from Angelo State University in 1993, Hancock worked as a substitute teacher in Snyder, where her husband, Matt, lived and worked. Her husband was later transferred to the Brownwood area, where he works at the Havens Unit.

After substitute teaching in Brownwood and Early, Hancock learned of an opening in Brookesmith. “I read about it in the newspaper,” Hancock said. “And the rest, as they say, is history.”

In addition to teaching third grade, Hancock has also taught in grades 1, 7 and 8 in Brookesmith.

“Seeing the kids learn” is what inspires Hancock. “Whenever I’m trying to get them to get a concept and they get it, that’s what makes it all worthwhile,” Hancock said.

As with any profession, there are good days and bad days, Hancock said. “The good outweigh the bad,” she said.

Hancock said she had teachers who inspired her, and some of her former students have told her she made an impact on them. “One of my students from early in my career actually came back and was a teacher, and she got to teach both of my kids,” Hancock said. “That was pretty awesome.”

Hancock’s son, a Brookesmith graduate, is 18 and attending Angelo State University. Her daughter is a freshman at Brookesmith.

“I love Brookesmith, as you can tell,” Hancock said. “I’ve been here awhile.”