Nothing says "welcome back to school" like a Teacher of the Week award, and Jones-Farrar Magnet School's Carist Koehl is celebrating the honor thanks to a parent.
Koehl was chosen as this year's first Teacher of the Week recipient because of the love she shows to all of her students, including Vicki Kested's son Hunter, who had Koehl for third grade last year and will have her for fourth again this year.
"On the first day when I was able to tell Hunter he had Mrs. Koehl, a sense of relief just went over his face because he's familiar with her and he knows that she is going to hold him accountable," Kested explained.
Koehl said an award from a parent means the world to her.
"I know how hard parents work at home with their kids to help support what we do at school, and it just means a lot to know that we have the support of parents with their kids," she explained.
Koehl said what sets her apart is the school's teaching methods, which give the students a say in what they do in class, and it seems to be working.
"We're always looking for more information. Kids are taking charge of their educations, so it's not just the teacher giving information, they have a hand in their own learning."
And even after 13 years of teaching in Freeport, Vicki Kested hopes Koehl will stay put.
"She's just a god send. She's the best teacher."