GASTON COUNTY, N.C. — A Gaston County educator drove away in a new car Wednesday after the 6th annual Gaston County Schools Kia Outstanding Educator Award ceremony.

Gaston County Schools partnered with Kia of Gastonia once again to award one very lucky and very deserving educator a new car. This year, each of the 55 schools in Gaston County selected one nominee.

The district said the nominated educators are-seen-as “unsung heroes” who support the school district’s vision, demonstrate exemplary service to their school, exhibit a teamwork attitude, and go the extra mile each day to help children.

The school district said this year’s nominees included teachers, custodians, office personnel, cafeteria workers, teacher assistants, school counselors, bus drivers, and other support staff.

On Wednesday, all 55 nominees took the stage at Stuart W. Cramer High School in Belmont. After being welcomed by a drumline and cheerleaders, Kathleen MacDonald's name was read.

“I’m in shock, I’m absolutely in shock,” said MacDonald. “I never win anything. I am one of those people.”

MacDonald is the business manager at Bessemer City High and said she’s been driving a Honda Civic for the last 8 years. Now she owns a new Kia Soul.

“The best thing about this award is it was the entire staff that voted for us, and I was just highly honored and really surprised to even get it," she said. "It felt really good because I work with such a great bunch of people. There are so many hard-working people there that deserve it.”

Chris Hafer, president and owner of Kia of Gastonia was also on stage when MacDonald’s name was called. He said they’re grateful to be such a small part of such a big award.

“Made it all worthwhile, it really did, you know to know that you can help somebody out like that, its really good,” said Hafer. "Our school teachers and custodians and cafeteria workers, whatever job they do within the school system, one is just as important as the other so its great to be a small part of it.”