"It's like the Academy Award of teaching:" State Superintendent honors Teacher of the Year

WEST ALLIS (WITI) -- It's a tough competition, and a huge honor! Each year four educators in Wisconsin are given Teacher of the Year awards. Out of 40,000 elementary school teachers in Wisconsin, the elementary school teacher of the year has a classroom right in West Allis.

For 9 years, Sarah Franson has spent her time teaching 1st through 3rd grade.

"I absolutely love the students more than anything. To see them learn and grow," said Franson.

Today, September 5th was no different, until the entire Irving Elementary School filed into the gymnasium for a special announcement.

"This is a big deal, it's like the academy award of teaching," said State Superintendent, Tony Evers.

The school anxiously waited for Franson to accept her award.

"Did not see this coming. I want to thank most importantly my students because I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for them, and they make everything possible and they are my inspiration to keep working harder," Franson said.

Sarah also thanked her parents and her co-teacher, Shannon Doberstein. The two have taught together for three years.

"I'm a new teacher, so she has graciously taken me under her wing and taught me everything I know so I am in debt to her and she said she can't do it without me, well I can't do it without her," said Doberstein.

Sarah is one of thousands of teachers to be nominated and 1 of 4 to win this honor.

"Overwhelmed right now, I really was not expecting this, I just go to school every day and do my job and never expect anything back in return but to be recognized for what I do day in and day out is an amazing feeling," said Franson.

For Sarah Franson, this honor was a total surprise.

In addition to the plaque she received, Franson also receives $3,000 from the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation.

She says she hasn't taken a summer off since she started in education so this year she'll be going somewhere tropical.