My sister just won County teacher of the year! She teaches kindergartners, in a tiny, bucolic valley on the Tennessee border, under circumstances that only public school teachers (in America) can really understand. With few resources, she accomplishes the near impossible every day, and the kids she teaches gain unparalleled foundational skills to take them forward as they move through junior school. Trust me, if you heard half the stories about what it's like to teach in any public board, you would be amazed. And North Carolina teachers are the worst paid in all of the US - which puts them in company for the most under-valued educational resources in North America. It's a travesty. In September, she'll vie for Regionals (after spending the summer writing a report and being observed multiple times in a class room environment). If she wins that round - and that would be a feat! - she could win State teacher of the year. And then, y'all know, it's on to the Nationals.
My sister has a will of steel, unflagging energy (though it takes a toll) and tremendous integrity so I'm confident she's going to take this all the way.
Given how tirelessly she works, for so little recognition, it's a heart-warming acknowledgement. Please do join me in congratulating her.