WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- She questioned it. But she still jumped for joy. In fact, kindergarten teacher Kimberly Holland thought it might be an April Fools joke when we showed up to recognize her as Teacher of the Week.
"I'm so execited, but I'm very overwhelmed," Holland admitted. "I'm very, very overwhelmed that the work I'm doing with my babies is being recognized so I'm very excited."
Two of her "babies" as she calls them are the reason WWAY showed up to surprise her. Carlie and Candace are twins and their parents are very proud of the first-year teacher.
"It makes me feel really good. When I was in school I didn't like it, so I'm glad that I can come and use my past experiences and make it fun for them to learn."
Ms. Holland goes beyond the basics of reading, writing and math. Candace and Carlie's nomination points to life lessons like empathy and support. The class raised a lot of money for leukemia earlier this year through Olive Garden's Pennies for Pasta fundraiser.
"My little babies just came in every morning with their change," she explained. "And they would put it in the box and we came in second place, but I was very very proud."
No shortage of generosity. And certainly never a shortage of smiles. Having fun is important to Ms. Holland. She loves her students. Scratch that. Don't ever call them students in front of her.
"They're my babies! They're my kids," she exclaimed. "I don't think of them as students. I think of them all the time."
If their love is measured in hugs, they clearly think a lot of her too...because every student lined up to congratulate their teacher.