A special teacher in Glastonbury has inspired countless students with his leadership, positive attitude, and willingness to help.
However, when tragedy struck, fourth-grade teacher Phil Marvin had to learn how to take his own advice, which was something he did to prove to his students that anything is possible.
"Growing up, I had some really amazing teachers myself and I think they just inspired me,” Marvin said.
For the last 14 years, Mr. Marvin has taught at Hebron Avenue Elementary School in Glastonbury, encouraging and motivating every student who enters his classroom.
"He's always giving out good advice and he's supportive to everyone,” said student Jameson.
His standout message to his students is three simple yet powerful words – “Believe in yourself.”
It wasn't until March of last year when Marvin had to take his own advice.
Marvin was admitted to the hospital with myocarditis, a viral heart disease.
After 10 days, he was set to be released when out of nowhere he suffered a stroke.
"I have no feeling in my face from half of my mouth to my left cheek bone,” Marvin said.
Out of school and in the hospital and other patient facilities, not teaching but learning.
He was learning to walk again, speak again, and pick up objects, all while working through feelings of doubt about whether he'd ever be able to return to the job he loved.
"Even just from the damage it causes in the brain, I was concerned would I be able to maintain organization, would I be able to have the stamina for this job,” Marvin said.
But he didn't give up and he believed in himself, and through his hard work, the support of a great team of nurses and knowing he had something to prove to his students, he has nearly made a full recovery.
"They really inspire me and I learn just as much from them as I hope they're learning from me,” Marvin said.
Marvin was also Teacher of the Year in 2009, but his accomplishments go far beyond the classroom.
He currently volunteers at Mount Sinai Hospital in Hartford, speaking with other stroke survivors and being living proof that the impossible is possible.
Copyright 2017 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.