MINT HILL, NC (WBTV) - A Mint Hill teacher is reeling after a huge surprise, Tuesday.
Nobody knew why Queen’s Grant Community School was gathering for a school-wide assembly. It turned out – it was to honor her.
“She does what’s best for kids every single day,” Principal Krista Tolchin said.
First grade teacher Brittany Tucker got a real shock when, in the assembly, National Heritage Academies CEO and President Brian Britton presented her with the Excellence in Teaching Award.
“Without my kids, this wouldn’t be happening,” she said.
Emotional, she accepted the national award in front of the entire staff and student body.
“I feel honored that it was me,” she said. “But I had no intentions of it being me or anything, so I was shocked.”
The NHA has thousands of teachers in schools nationwide. This award only goes to 11.
“[What makes you qualify is] how well you’re doing in a classroom, the actual results kids are getting, parent satisfaction,” Britton said.
It’s meant to honor the best of the best. Tucker will get $1,000 to spend in the classroom, and $3,500 for herself.
“It’s no secret what teachers are paid and how much money kind of goes out of our own pockets,” she said. “Just having that fund to do that, and choose those things your kids love and want to do, I’m excited about that.”
She said one of the biggest needs in her classroom is technology.
“And more stem and investigative manipulatives for those kids,” she said.
For Tucker, the students will always be priority.
“I wrote a letter to my husband when I married him, you know, you come second,” she said. “Because my kids do come first. They’re like mine, you know, for 180 days, and I give them back a little taller, a little smarter.”
Two more staff members at Queen’s Grant Community School qualified as finalists. Seventh and eighth grade teacher Danial Myers, and para-professional April Ryder are both awarded $400 each for their accomplishments.