Stephanie DePaul-Pragel, Allendale Columbia School

By Kevin Doran

Published 11/26 2013 03:20PM

Updated 11/26 2013 06:48PM

Fourth grade teacher Stephanie DePaul-Pragel was nominated by a little girl who says her classroom feels like family. 

Stephanie was nominated by one of her students, Carly Freeman.

"Because she cares about us like we're her own children and she always does all these things like you would do with your own kids," Carly said.

Mrs. DP, as the kids call her, is a teacher students remember for the rest of their lives.

"She touches them in their hearts as well as in their heads. She's an excellent teacher but also leaves them with many life skills they'll be able to enjoy using the rest of their lives," principal John Sullivan said.

"I truly love my students. They are part of me; and I tell my students and I mean it that once you're my student, you're always my students, you're always in my heart," Stephanie said. "I love what I do. I'm one of those fortunate people. I get to do what I love every day. But for some child to see in me how much I really care, it just means the world to me."

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