ROCK HILL, S.C. — When the students of India Hook Elementary School filed into the auditorium Monday, they thought they were there to attend a presentation on e-learning. Instead, one teacher left with a brand new car and a video to last a lifetime.
Third-grade teacher Beth York had no idea she had been nominated for WCNC NBC Charlotte's Hometown Hero award.
"Mrs. Beth York truly is a gift to the students she is able to teach each day," the nomination submitted in her honor reads in part.
Her husband and five children were there Monday as she was awarded the keys to her new Hyundai.
Her students and colleagues also surprised her with video messages expressing their appreciation.
"We wanted Mrs. York to hear straight from her students and the teachers, and just how much she means to them," India Hook Elementary School Christopher Roorda said.
In the nomination submitted to WCNC, Mrs. York was given accolades for her work at work and at home.
"The York family has three beautiful girls and two handsome boys which will all make you smile with joy," the nomination reads. "As if raising five children is not hard enough, but the two youngest boys have medical needs, one of which has been quite extensive. Last school year, in the midst of multiple hospitalizations and complex surgeries by specialty doctors in Boston, Mrs. York still made her students and their families a priority. Her ability to simply do it all is mind-boggling at times."
Rock Hill teacher is a Hometown Hero
The nominator also expressed appreciation for how Mrs. York touched the life of her and her daughter.
"Upon starting school at her new elementary school, [my daughter] fell in love with her new teacher for so many reasons. The main reason, which is what is most important to me as a parent, is because she made her feel safe, included, and special in a new school environment where she did not know anyone."
Mrs. York was in disbelief.
"I definitely don't feel like a hero, she told WCNC NBC Charlotte's Sarah French. "Just a normal person doing what I love doing."
Mrs. York is the third recipient of the WCNC NBC Charlotte Hometown Hero award.
RELATED: He saved a fellow firefighter trapped in a burning building. For his heroic efforts, he won a new car.
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