For this week's "My Teacher is Tops," 13WMAZ made the long trip to Sandersville to surprise David Smith, a 7th grade English teacher at T.J. Elder Middle School.
Smith was nominated by his student, 7th grader Nigeria Johnson, who says he "makes English fun."
When Junior Journalist Hayden Nichols surprised Smith with the news, Smith said he follows the program on 13WMAZ but says, "I never thought it would be me."
Smith, who has been teaching for 16 years, had a unique path to becoming a teacher. "I didn't start teaching until I was 38 years old, believe it or not," Smith said. He said he used to work on bulldozers with the forestry department, but says after seeing classes taught by his wife, who's also a teacher, realized education was his true calling.
His boss, principal Manzie Broxton agreed. "I think whenever you form a bond with students, students will do anything and everything for you."
Smith has been teaching at Elder for the last 7 years. He also taught for 3 years in Japan.
Follow 13WMAZ's Tom George on Twitter @thetomgeorge