BEDFORD Co., Va. (WDBJ7) At Liberty High School, it's Spirit Week.
Tuesday is Superhero Day.
So what better way to celebrate than to honor a hero among them.
As Crystal DeLong walks into the school library, she’s shocked when she’s welcomed with cheers and balloons just for her.
“It's my honor and privilege today to say that you have been named as the Region Five Teacher of the Year,” says Bedford County Public Schools Superintendent Doug Schuch.
DeLong has been teaching for 19 years. Last year she was Liberty High's Teacher of the year and she was recently named Bedford County Teacher of the year.
So this new honor is no surprise to her students.
“She is a great teacher, definitely,” says Liberty High School Senior Alexis Mattson.
“She's really truly passionate about what she does,” says Senior Alyssa Mattson “She really takes the time with her kids to teach them the material and she cares about the material.”
She teaches world history and A.P. government. It’s no surprise if you see her superhero costume. She's dressed as Super Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
But to these kids, their teacher is showing them what is means to a hero.
“I know a lot of times kids get burnt out from school because they feel like their teachers don't care and she always exemplifies that she does,” says Senior Maloni Wright. “We're doing a trip to DC and she was like if anyone doesn't have the money let me know and I'll figure something out, I'll work it out . I don't want anyone not able to go so she always goes the extra mile for her students and I think that sets her apart.”
“I love what I do. I can't imagine doing anything else. I have felt ever since I was little that I was called to be a teacher. I enjoy helping other people and having that moment when they see, oh yes I get this,” says DeLong.
Now she's getting some help from her students and peers now that she's in the running to be 2017 Virginia Teacher of the Year.
DeLong is one of eight teacher in the state to be chosen. Locally, Jason Ince at Chatham High in Pittsylvania County, and Katie McCann at Appomattox Elementary in Appomattox County are also in the running for Virginia Teacher of the Year.