CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Catherine Gray, an ESL teacher at Clark Elementary, has made a huge impact at her school in just a few short years.

“She’s very humble, very personable, and just very helpful all the way around. Whenever there is a need, there is Ms. Gray. She’s never been the type to say, 'That’s not in my job description.' Wherever there is a need, Ms. Gray is there to help,” added Johnson.

With that, it is easy to see why Gray was recognized as the Charlottesville City Teacher of the Year, representing the division at the regional and national levels.

“Ms. Gray is a team player, she shows up every day ready and does whatever needs to be done in any capacity,” said Cassandra Johnson, the principal at Clark Elementary School.

That award is just a small piece into the reason Gray became a teacher, being able to impact student lives at a young age is what keeps her motivated and her classroom lively for her students.

“She’s the best teacher. She is kind, she helps us when we are hurt,” said Sodees Abdullah, a second grader at Clark.

“I like when she is silly,” said Mazda Amid, a second grader at Clark.

Gray shows that putting energy into the school you are representing as a teacher is just as important as the work you are putting in in the classroom.

“There are a lot of teachers doing a lot of great and hard work in the city, the county, and all around our area. So, I would say keep it up and doing well and keep doing the best we can,” said Gray.