Beaufort County has a new district Teacher of the Year for 2013.
Hilton Head Island High School English teacher Kristen Karszes was awarded the honor Friday morning.
She will get to drive home with the keys to a new car.
After all 30 of Beaufort County's top teachers were recognized, it was time to hear from those who knew each of the top five nominees.
Colleague Mary Beth White spoke on behalf of Karszes, sharing personal stories told by her students.
"She's got a skill for working with kids that are sometimes difficult to motivate, she cares about them and they know it so they work a little harder for her," said White.
Then it was time to announce the winner.
"I spent the last two weeks telling my friends, family and coworkers that out of the four other finalists, there was no way I was going to win. So this is truly an honor," said Karszes.
Then came the hard part, choosing which car to drive home.
After a little deliberation, Karszes chose the Cadillac ATS. She will get to enjoy driving her new Cadillac until the school district names its next Teacher of the Year.
Back at Hilton Head Island High School, students and staff celebrated with a surprise parade followed by an acapella performance for Karszes.
"I was just really happy for my mom," said her son Hampton Goldston.
"She has a big heart, she cares about the students, she cares about teaching and I feel honored to be in a class with her," said former student Brandon Johnson.
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