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Who’s worth a million dollars?

Professional athletes may have earned their way to fame by being great players, but are they worth the millions of dollars they are paid?

I’ll admit, I am not a sports fan, especially professional sports.

I have a hard time understanding why a grown man is paid millions of dollars to run a ball down the field while another grown man who is also paid millions of dollars chases him down the field.

However, there are tons of people who love the thrill of watching these professional games, cheering for their favorite player or team, and waging bets on who’s the best.

Those who love the game will argue that professional athletes are paid a ridiculous amount of money because they are public figures, role models, and impact lots of people at one time when they are seen on television.

But, what about the doctors who work to save lives and the nurses who spend many long hours away from their families working to help those in need?

Let’s not forgot those on the front lines fighting for our freedom in the military, the firefighters who answer calls all hours of the day and night, law enforcement who go to work each day and at times are unsure if they will return home at the end of their shift and my personal favorite … teachers.

Reflect on your life and where you are right now. Who was the first person to impact you?

A teacher is oftentimes the first person to make an impact on a person’s life.

It was the teacher that had to teach the doctor, it was a teacher that had to teach the nurse, and it was the teacher who first instructed the athletes.

Why do they not make millions of dollars?

According to Salary.com, the average public-school teacher salary in Virginia is $57,372 as of Jan. 20, but the range typically falls between $50,088 and $66,231.

In Charlotte County, a teacher with one to two years of experience on a 10-month contract will make $39,655 according to the school system’s website.

So, the next time you are watching your favorite professional athlete run up and down the field or court, remember they were most likely first influenced by a teacher, and they are the ones who should be making the big bucks.

Crystal Vandegrift is a staff reporter for The Kenbridge-Victoria Dispatch and Farmville Newsmedia LLC. Her email address is Crystal.Vandegrift@KVDispatch.com.