Pretty much every day is a successful day here.
That's what Karen Toavs says about going to work at Williston Middle School each day.
Toavs has been named as one of 38 winners across the nation of the Award for Teaching Excellence.
She says the award honors - not only her - but the entire staff and student population at Williston Middle School for exemplary efforts in education.
Toavs says one of the most gratifying parts of the award is the affirmation it gives to her unusual style in the classroom.
(Karen Toavs, Williston Teacher) "A lot of things I do in my classroom are unusual. So having that endorsement that it's OK to be original and to teach differently from other people and variety is something that makes schools great. I think for me that's probably the biggest benefit of receiving this award."
Toavs will be in Washington in February to receive the award- and for training for the next phase of the award where she learns to become a teacher-leader who will work with colleagues on proven teaching techniques.
In addition, she hopes to qualify for the final phase of the award - a ten-day trip to Brazil in June to learn about that country's education system.
All 38 of the winners' schools win a $650 prize and five of the finalists get ten thousand dollar awards.
Plus, the overall winner will receive a 25 thousand dollar prize.