Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - 7th Grade teacher Terri Daniels was surprised on Friday at an early morning assembly at Meadow Hill Middle School in Missoula with the ‘Middle School Educator of the Year’ award presented by Susan Tower, Executive Director of the Missoula Education Foundation.

I spoke with Tower after the ceremony, who presented the award to Daniels in front of her family, fellow educators and the entire Meadow Hill student body.

7th Grade Teacher Named Middle School Educator of the Year

“We were thrilled to honor our newest Middle School Educator of the Year who was Terri Daniels at Meadow Hill Middle School,” said Tower. “Terri has been a longtime educator in the district and she's been at Meadow Hill for quite a while. She teaches seventh grade and teaches English language arts. The nominations that we received for her talked about how creative her lesson plans were, and how accessible they were for all different types of student learners.”

Tower passed along some of the tributes for Daniels from her fellow teachers and staff at Meadow Hill.

Terri Daniels was Honored Friday at Meadow Hill Middle School

“Someone said about her that they can't imagine a kinder person walking the halls of that school, that she just creates such a safe space and a welcoming space for students,” she said. “I think middle school students can be a very vulnerable age and it just she seems to be one of the brightest stars that we have, helping them through that time and setting them up for success in the future.”

READ MORE: How a Missoula Teacher Thanked Class of '23 for Saving Her Career

Daniels Received a Plaque and Gifts from Area Businesses

Along with a plaque and the applause from fellow teachers and students, Tower said Daniels received special gifts for her accomplishments.

“They provide a $250.00 gift certificate to the winning educator from the Missoula Downtown Association so she can go out to dinner and do some shopping and treat herself a little bit,” she said. “Stockman Bank is a sponsor of the Educator of the Year awards and with that comes a $1,000 classroom gift for Terri to use in her classroom next year. She also received a couple of plaques and other small gift cards along the way.”

Tower said the school year will wrap up in early June.

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