TAMARAC (CBSMiami) – A Broward County elementary school teacher is in the running for one of the country’s highest honors.

Tamarac Elementary School teacher Simone Ryals has been named a state finalist for the 2012 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching Program.

With flowers in hand, Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie surprised Ryals in her classroom Monday morning to deliver the news in person that she had been tapped as one of the state-level K-6 science finalists.

“Oh my goodness, oh my goodness,” said Ryals as Runcie told her the good news.

“Mrs. Ryals is just an awesome teacher,” said 5th grader Andrea Rega. “She makes a lot of learning fun and you never get bored in this class, there’s always something to do.”

Whether its learning through games or reciting the Greek alphabet, students love to learn in her classroom.

“She won’t let us fail,” said one student.

The 9-year teaching veteran will receive official notification of her honor by The White House this week.

“You don’t do the job for the perks, you do it because you love the children, you want them to have the very best education possible,” said Ryals.

In her 5th grade classroom students say learning is top priority and they say it’s because of the inspiration they receive from a teacher who inspires them through the world of science.

“I think her ability to innovate, to constantly try and get better and figure out how to engage students and make learning fun that’s what we need to have in education,” said Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie.

She will find out in October if she’s a winner.

If she win, Ryals will receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation and a day at the White House.



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