“My teacher is your mom?!”

School is not just school for the Powells; it’s a family experience.

The Powell family takes the national day “Take Your Kid to Work” to the extreme. Mrs. Debbie Powell, Fashion Construction teacher, her twin boys Alex and Jax (11) and her daughter Sammi (9), all attend EHS.

Sammi and her brothers like the fact that their mom teaches on the campus. They often stop by her room for a snack or just to say hi.

“I absolutely love seeing them all the time,” Mrs. Powell said. “I pretty much see one of them every hour, in between classes, because they use my room as a locker.”

Rather than hanging out in the Commons or by her locker, Sammi can often be found relaxing in her mom’s room, the place of organized chaos. Sewing machines line the counters around the room, and fabric, shopping bags and fashionable clothing color the walls. Sammi likes working in her mom’s room because she can get more done with less distractions. Mrs. Powell’s room has high tables where Sammi and her friends often work on homework.

“In the mornings, my friends and I hang out in her room, and sometimes after soccer I go to her room and do homework there instead of going home,” she said.

Whether it’s class, study hall or soccer practice, Sammi and two of her closest friends, Anna Valenti and Nicole Cazzaniga (9), are always together. The girls like spending time in Mrs. Powell’s room in the morning.

“We sometimes have a study hall in her room,” Valenti said.

There are other advantages to having a parent teach at EHS, according to Jax and Alex. When Jax and Alex were freshman, they learned to drive by driving to and from school with their mom every day. They’d talk about what the plans for the day were or how their day had gone. Mrs. Powell said she loved the communication of those car trips because it gave her a chance that not many parents get.

With both boys playing hockey and Sammi running cross country and playing on the freshman soccer team, the Powell kids are busy. They agreed that having someone to help work out their busy, everyday schedules is nice.

“She’s always on top of my grades, and she knows my teachers, and so she kind of keeps me in line more than the average kid,” Alex said.

Of course, there are also a few downsides. Jax said there’s no way to hide.

“You get a bad grade on a test, and your mom finds out from that teacher pretty easily,” Jax said. “There’s no getting around that.”

And then there are those embarrassing moments.

“People will come up to me and be like, ‘Aww, I saw your baby pictures today!'” Sammi said.

Mrs. Powell originally taught at MHS. But when a job opened up at EHS, she took the opportunity and applied for it. She’d heard great things about EHS, and she knew her kids would go to EHS someday when they were older. She thought it would be nice to be in the same school as them.

“I thought it would be more convenient, and I knew they would probably be involved in sports and other activites,” Mrs. Powell said.

Having a parent for a teacher is not a new experience for the Powell kids. All three had their dad as a PE teacher for several years when they were younger. According to Sammi, having her mom as a teacher wasn’t quite the same experience.

“It was a little different because she was more of a classroom teacher,” Sammi said. Rather than Mr. Powell coaching from the sidelines, Mrs. Powell is a hands-on teacher who is always assisting her students with their sewing projects.

Sammi took Fashion Constructions 1 last semester with Valenti and Cazzaniga, and she is taking Fashion Constructions 2 next year.

“It was helpful because I felt really comfortable asking Mrs. Powell questions because I knew her so well,” Cazzaniga said. Valenti and Cazzaniga have been friends with Sammi for years, and they often depend on Mrs. Powell for rides home or anything else they might need during the school day.

They enjoyed getting to have Mrs. Powell as a teacher.

“It was so fun! I love Mrs. Powell,” Valenti said. Like her room, Mrs. Powell is fun and upbeat. Even though she is busy, she always makes time for Jax, Alex, Sammi and their friends.

Alex and Jax have both signed up to for Fashion Constructions next year with their mom. They’re looking forward to it.

“It’ll be interesting. I don’t think teachers teach you the same way parents teach you,” Jax said. “I’m going to be curious to see how my mom handles how I learn. It’ll be great. We’re going to have a ton of fun.”

Jax and Alex are excited to see what they will be making in the class. Having boys in Fashion Constructions 1 will be a unique experience for Mrs. Powell.

Sammi knows her mom will always be there for her.

“I can go into her room throughout the school day if I’m feeling down about something,” Sammi said. She sometimes goes to her mom’s room to get medicine and a hug if she’s not feeling well, and she knows her mom will always make time just to talk if Sammi ever needs her.

Overall, Mrs. Powell loves the fact that she teaches at the same place her kids attend school. She knows she has a unique relationship with her children and realizes that not many parents are able to see their children frequently throughout the day.

“I feel very blessed,” Mrs. Powell said. “I appreciate being able to see them as much as I do.”