Kathie Lee and Hoda recently put the call out for you to nominate your "Teacher of the Year," and the submissions came pouring in. After narrowing it down to three amazing finalists, the ladies invited teachers Billie Yardley, Susan Bull, and Deborah Young to the studio on Tuesday to reveal the winner of the online contest.
But first things first, they wanted to make it clear that each teacher was really a winner, and thanked them for the differences they'd made in their students' lives.
"I was just totally flabbergasted," Billie Yardley said of finding out she was a finalist. Yardley, a theater arts teacher, has been teaching for 36 years, and was nominated after her classroom was destroyed in a storm.
Susan Bull, a second grade teacher, was nominated by Rashell Johnson, the mom of a student with special needs, who said she went above and beyond to make her child feel involved. "She's a miracle that she's here," Johnson said of Bull.
Bull says she loves her job as a teacher. "I just feel like God has given me a passion for kids...and so I go every day trying to get the most out of each kid that I can," she said. "I want to build responsibility, I want to build respect, I want to build character in each kid."
Deborah, who was nominated by a mom for taking care of not only her students but also the parents, said teaching has been her lifelong calling.
"Ever since I was little, it was always what I wanted to do," she said.
And, drumroll please, the winner is: Billie Yardley!
But with such amazing teachers, crowning just one winner was "an impossible choice," said Hoda, so Deborah Young and Susan Bull were also crowned and given prizes to stock their classrooms with school supplies.
"So inspiring, thank you all so much," said Hoda.