Teacher of the Year Gets Surprise of a Lifetime

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NEWTON TOWNSHIP -- A teacher from Lackawanna County received the coveted title of Teacher of the Year and the honor comes with a free car.

But this teacher proves that some lessons and some prizes really are priceless.

Abington Heights students flooded the high school's front lot and they were all there for one teacher who had no idea she was about to become the center of attention.

History teacher Kerri Davis was named Burne Honda's Lackawanna Countywide Teacher of the Year. The prize is a brand new Honda Civic that was more needed than the folks at Burne Honda could have anticipated.

Kerri's husband Keith passed away at the beginning of this school year. That was followed by another family tragedy for which Kerri gave up her car.

"So I've been driving my husband's truck, which has been really therapeutic for me but not really good on gas mileage. You know, getting groceries, this will help tremendously, just be bopping around town, saving a couple bucks. So, you know, it's a blessing," Davis said.

"We knew nothing going into this. It was just an open field of open candidates, and we knew nothing. It just all came together and, you know, I believe that what's meant to be is meant to be, so she rose to the top," said Denise Burne of Burne Honda.

The winner came from more than 200 entries students wrote to a panel of judges about why their teacher should win.

There was one person noticeably missing from the celebration for Mrs. Davis -- the student who nominated her, senior Madison Jarocha was at home recovering from a health problem.

"Just having her encourage me, and even while she is struggling, has been, that's just the type of kid that she is. So, I just hope that I can give back to my students as much as my students have given back to me," said Davis.

So, even with this big gesture of thanks, Kerri says the feeling is mutual.

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