BAINBRIDGE, GA (WALB) - A Bainbridge middle school teacher is down four dress sizes, all thanks to her 7th grade class and an innovative STEM program.
Tynesse Butler has struggled with her health and weight almost all of her life.
“I had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. I was diagnosed with hypertension, high blood pressure. And I would try different weight loss approaches, but I always failed,” she said.
But because of her students, Butler's back on track.
By incorporating the STEM curriculum, she challenged each student to integrate science, technology, engineering and math to help her lose weight.
Gracie Surratt, a 7th grade student at Bainbridge Middle School, said, “All the research we did really paid off because it's helped her. We can pull off things that seem almost impossible, really.”
They made the impossible a reality and changed Butler's life in more ways than one.
“They've given me some gray hairs, but they've changed it for the better. They're an awesome group of kids,” said Butler.
Some students took the challenge so seriously, they watched what food she brought for lunch, and even checked up on her at the gym.
Surratt said, “Your mind is a very powerful tool and that's what we had to use to help Ms. Butler. And I know that a lot of kids get bullied and it just diminishes their self confidence because they're overweight.”
And while Butler said she's proud her old jeans are way too big now, she said her transformation is more than just physical.
“If you can find a good support system, people who will lift you up and not tear you down, then you can get through it. And that's what they didn't do. Tear me down. And that changes everything,” Butler said.
Butler will reveal her total weight loss at the end of the school year.
The school hopes to continue the project in the upcoming years.