A Mandaree teacher has taken her position far beyond what anyone would ever ask of her — and she’s doing it without hesitation.

At the front of every classroom stands a teacher, like Nina Lincoln.

“I never did this to be rich or looked at it, to ever be a high paying job or anything,” Lincoln said.

Her purpose being much more than that.

“I love my job and I come here because I want to be a difference in somebody else’s life,” Lincoln said.

With only four years of teaching under her belt, she’s already done just that.

She’s found herself doing just about anything to make her student’s life a little easier, from buying school supplies, clothes and even recently purchasing one student a new computer.

“Her device didn’t work properly, so I just went out and bought her a computer for her,” Lincoln said.

Doing all of this out of her own pocket, many would ask, why? But her answer always reflects back to a time when she was a student.

“I couldn’t afford basketball shoes. The school had people come in and different folks came in and bought me shoes. I couldn’t afford shoes. So, when I got my first pair of Converse it was from people that are like me that provided it, and this is just my way of giving back,” she said.

Having that pay-it-forward style mentality has not only brought Lincoln joy, but also those around her.

“She’s always doing something for Mandaree children. Always making them feel loved and making them feel welcome, and if they don’t have anything she’ll help them,” Student-parent Brianna Danks said.

“I’ve worked with many, many people over the last 48 years and a person like Denise [Nina] is very rare to find because they do things from the heart and it’s not for their own glory or personal recognition or anything like that,” Principal Greg Sherwood said.

Lincoln says her only wish is that one day her students too will give back when that time comes.

Lincoln has also taken the initiative to teach each student the history of their culture, something she feels is extremely important.