Cat Monroe received kind of a wake-up call Wednesday morning.
Monroe, a seventh- and ninth-grade social studies teacher at Central Junior High School, received the Lawrence Horizon Award, in front of an assembly of students.
"I am stunned. It's an awesome feeling. I'm totally stunned about it," she said.
Superintendent Randy Weseman presented the award, which recognizes second-year teachers who have excelled in the classroom.
"This teacher has the ability and drive to work with others. She has a great capacity to work with students," he said.
Monroe also taught eighth grade last year. She said her first year of teaching was difficult, but she relied on advice from veteran teachers to have a successful rookie year.
"I would be lost without a lot of my peers here," she said.
Anna Stubblefield, principal at Central Junior High, said the award reflects well on the school.
"I think it's an awesome thing for our school. It shows we have dedicated teachers, new teachers and old teachers, and our staff has meshed together to support one another," she said.
For Monroe, the award validates her career choice.
"It means, truly, a lot," she said. "Teaching is my passion, and it's great to know I'm recognized for that."
Each year, the school district nominates an elementary and a junior high school teacher for the award. Amanda Vail, a second-grade teacher at Prairie Park, received her award on Friday. Monroe and Vail will be put into a pool for the Kansas State Board of Education Horizon Award.