ROSSVILLE, WALKER COUNTY (WRCB) -- A North Georgia teacher is paying it forward after lucking out in a recent raffle.
She won a ring worth thousands of dollars. Instead of keeping it, she's cashing it in and using the money in the classroom.
Ridgeland's pottery class will soon have a working kiln, a piece of equipment that turns clay into pottery. That's good because the room is filling up with piles of mud waiting to be fired.
A fundraiser held by the band program is coming full circle, thanks to the selfless act of one teacher who has no need for the diamond ring she won.
"I have a ring, my husband bought me a ring," teacher, Erika Couey says. "I don't need a ring, but I do need a kiln."
What's a pottery class without a working kiln to finish the product?
It's certainly not a classroom Couey wants.
"It's like Christmas morning when we open the kiln," Couey says. "I love to see the faces on the kids when we open it up. It's like magic, except on the days when we open it and the kiln was unsuccessful. That's a big let down."
Couey along with the county electrician deemed their 22-year-old kiln unsafe, after it overheated and didn't shut off the last time it was used.
So when the band raffled tickets to win a 2-karat diamond ring, Couey's creative juices started flowing.
"I bought $100 worth of tickets, thinking if I win this, I can sell it and buy a kiln," Couey says.
Her husband wanted a big screen TV, but she convinced him to hit the market for a new kiln.
It's an act she won't call selfless. But those close to her, like student-teacher Corban Brauer, know that's exactly what this is.
"I mean she could spend the money on herself, but she's choosing to invest in her students and in her school," Brauer says. "It speaks to her as a teacher that she's willing to be so invested in her students."
Couey says she doing this for the love of creativity, because she knows how important it is in the growing process.
"Creativity ignites the brain, and it helps you focus and concentrate," Couey says. "That creative thinking is going to move into other classes and other areas of your life."
The ring is valued at $5,000 to $6,000, and Couey hopes to have it sold as soon as possible to purchase a kiln.
She wants everything in place before the county wide art show on Saturday March 24, at the Advancing Education Center.