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Best Of Baltimore: Inspiring Woman Named Teacher Of The Year

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- The best of Baltimore. Baltimore City unveils its 2014 Teacher of the Year.

As Gigi Barnett reports, the honoree says it was a third-grade teacher who inspired her to join the profession.

It's not every day that news cameras crowd into Elizabeth Barletta's fifth-grade class at Barclay Elementary/Middle School.

But Thursday, school leaders had a special announcement: Barletta is this year's Baltimore City Teacher of the Year.

Barletta teaches math and science at the school.

Her students aren't surprised that she took the top title because Barletta can make the tough subjects seem easy.

"We had extracted our DNA, and we saw what our DNA looked like. And then she set up these microscopes, and then we looked at cells," said Christopher Reeves, Barclay student.

"Science can be very tough and math, as well. Just making it exciting and fun and learning those little memory tricks that make them want to remember and learn more," said Barletta.

She says her love for teaching came at an early age and was inspired by her very own third-grade teacher.

"Since I was a little girl, I've always wanted to be a teacher and inspire and help, and being able to come here and do that every day is probably the greatest gift ever," she explained.

For a week, the entire school kept the secret that Bartletta won the award.

Principal Bettye Adams says it was tough but well worth it for a teacher who rises above.

"It's the passion that she has. It's the intensity that she has. She cares about every student in her classroom," Adams said.

Barletta now advances to the statewide Teacher of the Year competition.

If Barletta wins the statewide Teacher of the Year competition, she could have a chance for the national award.

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