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'I'm So Thankful': Queen Anne's County Educator Named Teacher Of The Year, Wins New Car

CENTREVILLE, Md. (WJZ) -- A Queen Anne's County teacher got a special surprise Monday: a brand new car and the title of Teacher of the Year.

Surrounded by students and staff, Centreville Elementary School music teacher Heather Efland was surprised with her new set of wheels.

"It's humbling and I'm so thankful for everything," she said.

The 2019 Ford Escape was donated by a Hertrich car dealership in Easton as a way of saying thank you.

Principal Theresa Farnell said Efland was well deserving of the honor.

"She is an amazing teacher, the relationships that she builds, the instruction she produces with the students, what they learn [...] it's absolutely amazing," Farnell said.

Queen Anne's County Schools Superintendent Dr. Andrea Kane said the gift goes above and beyond what the district could normally give a winning teacher.

"There are so few things that a school district can do that can involve a fiscal impact, and we can get together, we can collaborate with our partners so we can provide something for her [...] but it really goes to another level when you can do something like provide a car for a year," she said.

While the new car is much appreciated, Efland said the joy of being a teacher is rewarding enough.

"Teaching music is my calling and I have that moment all the time, where I have the students performing in front of me, and I know that's what I'm supposed to be doing," she said.

Efland is now in the running for the Maryland State Teacher of the Year, which is set to be announced at the end of October. And she won't get to keep the car forever -- it's hers for the next year.

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