Leading With Your Heart – EC Alumni Spotlight on Kachina Rucker

For EC Alumna, Kachina Rucker, a weight loss journey led her to discover her true passion.

The Elberton, Ga. native came to Emmanuel excited about the opportunity to further her education and grow in her faith.

Graduating in 2004 with a degree in Sports Management, Kachina was unsure of what was next for her, but let her heart lead the way.

“I had some amazing professors at Emmanuel, but Coach Jim Ganey stood out to me,” she remembered. “He was always encouraging people and taught me how to eat right and work out effectively. I took a lot of what I learned from him and implemented it in my weight loss journey.”

Kachina lost weight, but at the same time, she gained a passion for teaching.

“A friend of mine and I began teaching at Curves,” she remembers. “We thought, we could teach others how to do this…and decided to look for jobs teaching in the school system. I ended up finding a job in Special Education at Elbert County and loved it.”

In her new role, Kachina took everything she learned from Emmanuel and brought it with her to the classroom. She also brought with her a passion for the Lord, which she believes is shown in her teaching and helped her achieve accolades including being named “Teacher of the Year” in 2020. 

After 16 years in the classroom, Kachina is entering a new season as the Assistant Principal of Elbert County Comprehensive High School where she hopes to help more students.

“I’m looking forward to supporting my co-teachers and students,” Kachina said. “I will be working closely with seniors as a Graduation Coach, making sure they’re getting everything they need to graduate and transition into whatever is next for them.”

What’s a piece of advice she would give to college students unsure of what field to pursue?

“Lead with your heart,” she said. “It will take you where you need to be. Follow your passion and you can’t go wrong. I could have gone into Physical Therapy, but my heart wasn’t in it. My heart was for giving back to people, and my time at Emmanuel laid the foundation for me to do that.”