ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – Local teacher Tina Coffey, of Oak Grove Elementary School, was named U.S. Teacher of the Year by the Level Up Village program.
School and program leaders along with Tina’s fifth-grade students surprised her with the award Monday.
The program teaches students about science, technology, arts and math. It also lets them work with students from other countries. As part of their coursework, Coffey's students have worked with a partner in a developing country to create 3-D solar flashlights.
"It was one of those projects that I knew was going to be really cool and exciting but as it went on and I got to watch the kids actually in the middle of it, it was even better than I could've ever imagined. It's probably one of the best projects I've ever done," Coffey said.
The students will wrap up the eight-week course when they print their flashlights.