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Submitted by Ashley Jacobs on Tue, 02/11/2014 - 6:00pm.

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Karen Carlton was shocked to learn she is WWAY's Teacher of the Week. After admitting she was speechless, she found a few words. "I'm so excited, speechless. I had no idea this was going to happen." First grade student Nina Garguilo nominated her teacher because she always smiles and makes children feel comfortable. "she's awesome," little Nina said. "And she gives a lot of chances to people." "I appreciate that they're trying and that makes me feel good," Carlton said. She said positive reinforcement is the key to success in her classroom. Even when students give an incorrect answer to a question, she thanks them for participating and encourages them to think about it a little more and find a different answer. "They're exciting. They love to learn and they're just like a box ready to be filled and ready to learn new inventive ideas." Though Carlton had no idea that perspective would earn her a Teacher of the Week nomination, she has been dreaming up items she needs for her room. "Most definitely school supplies, books, books on different levels for my children." Purchasing many of those items on her wish list will be easy thanks to the big check worth $400. But the most priceless gift is one she already has...the gift to inspire. Nina wants to be a teacher someday, largely because of her own teacher, Mrs. Karen Carlton.

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