Western School District's Lisha Fee was awarded the November WGEM Golden Apple Award.
Fee has spent nearly three decades teaching Pike County, Illinois students.
She said her mother-in-law Bonnie Fee inspired her to become a teacher.
"She was just a very positive and overwhelming personality," teacher Lisha Fee said. "I really didn't know what I wanted to do, and I think I just kind of fell into it because I loved being in her class and seeing what she did."
Dozens of students and staff from Western submitted nomination letters sharing why Fee should receive a Golden Apple.
"She's always kind and sweet to you. She makes sure everything is fun," student Macy Oitker said.
"I think Mrs. Fee embodies everything we want Western to be. She's positive, she's caring, she's loving. Everybody is family to her," Western School Superintendent Jessica Funk said.
"She finds games that everybody will like so that we can all play them together. She's so positive. Even if you lose a game she tells you you did a good job," fifth grader Paisley Patterson said.
This year to accomodate smaller class sizes during the pandemic Fee is teaching kindergarten.
"She makes stuff fun," kindergarten student Harmony Parrack said.
"We get to go outside," kindergartener Eleanor Nation said.
"We have new curriculm that we didn't have seven years ago and we have iPads one to one, so I'm relearning all of that," Fee explained.
But, Fee's passion is pe.
"They come in excited. They want to move, they want to run. It's just fun being around the kids," Fee said.
"I didn't know that pe could be the way Mrs. Fee does pe. The kids are learning constantly, they are learning about health, they are learning about muscles, they are learning about bones," Funk explained.
Even in a different role, those around Fee said her cheerful and positive attitude never wavers.
"She can turn a kid that's really struggling with something and just doesn't understand something, and Mrs. Fee works with them for a few minutes and they feel good about themselves," Funk said.
"I started trying to do better in pe. What I do is I would listen to her and she was a really a great coach," fifth grade student Collyn Forbis said.
"I like to be around positive people. I think it helps the kids learn to. They need someone positive to help them along," Fee said.