Eighth grade language arts teacher, Jenni Lou Jackson says she believes she was called to teaching.
"I come into my job everyday knowing this is where I belong." says Jackson.
On Tuesday, that passion and that drive literally paid off. Jackson was awarded $3,000 as she took home the 2012 Middle School Teacher of the Year nod.
"As they finished up my bio I knew and they called my name. I stood up with shaking knees and a shaking chin and walked to the stage. I knew they had chosen me." she says.
School Principal Ramona Davis was with Jackson at the award's presentation and wasn't a bit surprised when Jackson's name was called.
"If you go into her classroom you're going to see her students engaged, you're going to see them loving her and loving learning." Davis says.
"We do different styles of clapping and different styles of praise, from an alligator clap to a firecracker clap, and shine you're halo because that was a good answer." say Jackson, on her teaching style.
And as Jackson returned to work this morning, she was bombarded with gifts from students and teachers.
"I've just continued to get cards and letters and flowers and notes of encouragement."
That continued support it what Jackson says matter's most.