In the fall, ShaMiracle Brown will be the 1st person in her family to go to college, and she says it's thanks to her science teacher, Paula Callendar.
"She made sure I got the credits I need to get there and the score on my ACT to get into NSU," said Brown.
Callendar is very close to Brown and the rest of the Senior class of about 20 students. She's taught their science class for the last 6 years at Pleasant Hill High School.
"I've known them all my life. A lot of these kids, when they came home from the hospital I went to visit them as babies," said Callendar.
If teaching 6 different science subjects wasn't enough, Callendar is also the school's graduation coach. She makes sure kids like Brown stay on track to achieve their goals.
"I wouldn't be going to a university. Probably trade school, without Mrs. Paula," said Brown.
Her students say she's changed their lives, but Callendar says it goes both ways. When doctors diagnosed her youngest daughter with cancer a few years ago, it was her students who showed up at her house to help her pack to go see specialists at St Jude's.
"These students are the ones that called, they emailed, they checked on our Caring Bridge website, that's what kind of family we are," said Callendar.
Callendar won the weekly Golden Apple Award for teaching excellence. The award comes with a $500 prize from the sponsor, The Kirby Kelly Law Firm.
To nominate an Ark-La-Tex educator to win the award, click here to fill out the form.