When the fourth grade students at Hodge Prep found out their teacher Monica Simmons had been named a WTOC Top Teacher, they quickly stood up to share why they believe she was chosen.
"She always gives us words of encouragement to encourage us to do our work and go through college and get our degrees and be a better person," said one student.
That's just an example of the many accolades Simmons has received over her 14-year teaching career - a career she didn't set out to achieve.
"I became a substitute teacher after I graduated from college because I have a degree in computer science and what happened was the person asked me to go into the school system to see if I would like teaching and once I came into the school, I saw that they had computers so I felt that I could teach children all about the hardware and software of technology," said Simmons.
And now she teaches them so much more, setting high standards for her students in every subject.
She occasionally rewards students with money for high test scores, and she always stays after school to tutor students- free of charge.
"She goes above and beyond teaching her students," said parent Tia Williams. "She teaches them not only for fourth grade but she prepares them for fifth grade."
So for her dedication-
"I enjoy helping and watching children learn," said Simmons.
Monica Simmons is this week's WTOC Top Teacher.
Reported by: Karla Redditte, email@example.com