An 8th grade language arts teacher in New Braunfels is one of 12 outstanding teachers in the state.

      On Friday, Shannon Duffy, a teacher at OakRunMiddle School, in New Braunfels was awarded with the 2013 Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Award program.

      Congressman Lamar Smith was in attendance to give Duffy her $5,000 award and present the school with a $500 award to be spend on students.  

      “I was nominated by a student I had two to three years ago,” Duffy said.  This type of recognition is an affirmation that some of the things I’m doing in the classroom matter to my kids, years later.”

      Duffy, who’s teaching style is to teach kids how to think; instead of what to think, says she does not think teaching to standardized test is the right way to approach teaching.

      “On the first day of school, I want to learn as much about their goals as I can,” Duffy said. “because my goal is to put each one of them further toward their goals… and when they see that that’s authentic they will work so hard for you.”

      As for her $5,000 reward, she plans on using it on something practical.

      “For a teacher, that’s a lot of money…. But I think I’m going to put hardwood floors in the entire first floor of my house,” Duffy said laughing.