Gene Faulkner: Teaching compassion, one student at a time

Image via Rebecca Tucker

Five days a week, Gene Faulker spends his time at Rhea County Academy, where he hangs out with students and instills decades-long worth of wisdom to the younger generation.

Rebecca Tucker has seen firsthand the influence Gene has on his students, so she nominated him for the NewsChannel 9 Pay It Forward segment.

"One of the things I appreciate so much about him is the example he teaches our students everyday," said Tucker.

A few years ago, Gene lost his wife of 64 years. To help him cope, his friend suggested he spend some time there.

That was four years ago and his commitment has been unwavering ever since.

With his family in tow, we make our way into the classroom.

Where sure enough, we find Gene sitting at the kids table.

"On Behalf of McMahan Law Firm and Channel 9 News, we're paying it forward to you and I think they're going to help me count," said Tucker.

We asked Gene what he thinks that example really is.

"I want to teach them to be kind and love each other," said Faulkner.

When we were all finished, Gene did something no one expected.

"I'm going to present this to the principal," said Faulkner handing the principal the five hundred dollars cash.

But his family says, that's just the type of man Gene is.

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