Mobile, Ala. (WKRG) — Carey Arensberg has quite a following in her classroom—but also on the social media platform Tic-Toc.

“It was very unexpected but it’s opened up a lot of good opportunities and it’s helped us a lot in here,” she said.

How many followers?

“I think like 435 thousand or something (laughs)  It’s a lot.”

Arensberg has been teaching for 11 years—and along the way, she’s kept up with her students, including two young men she’s mentored since she met them when they were in 5th grade.  Dominic Nettles is now at Williamson High School—and has been accepted to Auburn.  Arensberg helped him get there.

Nettles told us, “She’s everything. She helped tutor us, school projects, just everything–she’s like a second Mom to us.”

Part of that is how she makes her classroom a comfortable place for learning.

“So we have just different spaces within the room like we have a little relaxing area back there where they can go and get comfortable and do their assignments where they feel in a comfortable space–we have lots of learning tools for them–it’s just our little classroom community in here,” said Arensberg.

She keeps a ‘care closet’ with all sorts of things her students may need from snacks to hygiene products and more.

And in 2020–she was named Mobile County’s Elementary teacher of the year.

“Well I knew the first time I met Carey she was just a special person,” said nominator Stacy Simmons. “You can walk into her room and see how she interacts with her kids just knowing how they come back to her year after year to seek her guidance and just talk to her and uplift them.  It was such an amazing thing to see in person.”

Our congratulations to Carey Arensberg and George Hall Elementary for a job well done.