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‘It’s amazing’: Educator still stunned after being named D.C.’s 2018 Teacher of the Year

English language arts teacher Tumeka Coleman was recently announced as D.C. Public Schools’ 2018 Teacher of the Year. (ABC7)

The young audience was quick to rise at Walker-Jones Education Campus to give a standing ovation for an educator who has spent a career standing for her students.

English language arts teacher Tumeka Coleman was recently announced as D.C. Public Schools’ 2018 Teacher of the Year.

"It's amazing. It's an experience that I never thought I would get,” Coleman told ABC7 News. “I am still in shock."

Coleman received the surprising news on Dec. 8. In a video, the third-grade teacher told students, "I am humbled. I am overwhelmed. This is not about me. I couldn't have done it without you guys."

D.C. education officials stopped by the school to announce Coleman had been selected for the honor. The Standing Ovation Excellence Award carries a prize of $10,000.

“I was like so speechless,” 9-year-old Prayjah Green said. “I was like, ‘Whoa!’"

Walker Jones principal Clinton Turner said two words come to mind when he thinks of Coleman: commitment and excellence. He describes her teaching style as "Definitely prepared. It's definitely structured. I thought about this the night before, the week before. I know exactly where my children are, I know exactly what my children need.'"

Said Coleman, "I'm the one that would get in the mud with them. I would stay late. I would come in early and just make sure I would provide the students with the support they need."

The educator has spent three of her 18 years in teaching at Walker-Jones. Her supporters say her presence is helping improve student performance.

“I think my teacher is hard working,” third-grader Jayden Anderson said.

Coleman will be honored at an awards ceremony in D.C. on Feb. 8.

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