A Judge Barefoot Sanders Law Magnet High School graduate was so grateful to one of her teachers that she nominated him for a national educator award.
Rebekah Foreman said her former teacher, Severo Perez, makes sacrifices to help his students and is simply one-of-a-kind.
"Out of all the teachers I've ever had, he's had the most impact on my life," said Foreman.
Foreman nominated Perez, a former state trooper turned educator, for the Expo® Extraordinary Educator Award by writing an essay about her exceptional teacher.
In her essay she wrote:
"He has made many sacrifices for his students; spending time away from his family just to stay after school to help us with schoolwork, or just to be there to talk to us when we had no one else to talk to. Mr. Perez really is a one of a kind teacher."
Foreman also added that she could often call on Perez to help her stay on track and focused on her school work.
"I needed that, because there'd be sometimes my mind would get off track and I would lose focus," Foreman said. "So, whenever I needed some encouragement, or someone to just motivate me to get back on track, I would call Mr. Perez."
Many teachers may wonder about what impact they are making in the lives of young people -- but now Perez has first-hand knowledge his students are not only learning and growing because of his effort, but that they appreciate it as well.
"I think every teacher questions, 'What have I done? Have I done what I'm supposed to be doing,'" said Perez. When kids come back and they tell me, 'Mr. Perez, I'm here. I'm doing this because of you,' It makes you think, 'Yes, I'm having an impact.'"
Perez was one of 12 winners out of thousands of nominations from across the country. For winning, Perez will receive $500 from Expo® to help him cover the cost of classroom supplies for one year.