MILTON — As the ceremony for the LEF Teacher Awards approaches, KATC is speaking with the finalists.
Leola Woods is the band director at Milton Elementary and Middle School, and she's exactly where she wants to be.
Woods says she never thought of being anything else but a band teacher.
"My fifth grade band teacher stood on that podium, and from then on, I knew what I wanted to do," said Woods. "It was just in me. There was never a question. Never a doubt."
Her teaching goes beyond the instrument. In her class, she motivates her students to strive for the best in everything they do.
"We're building a community. We're teaching them about working together and cooperation," said Woods. "They're learning about success because every time they learn something new, that's a success for them, and to see them succeed makes it worth it for me."
Woods was nominated in the inspirational category, which she says came as a surprise.
"I haven't been here that long, so to know that I've made that kind of impact on these children's lives in that short period of time, it's an amazing feeling," said Woods.
The band director is happy just to be recognized.
"Honestly, I've already won, and I win every day that I come here, so that award would just be icing on the cake," said Woods.
The ceremony is Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Heymann Performing Arts Center.
General admission is $10. The cost is $5 if you're a teacher or a student.
Tckets can be purchased at the Heymann box office or through Ticketmaster.