PLYMOUTH, Minn. (WCCO) — This morning, the WCCO Morning Show is honoring another excellent educator in the metro who has gone above and beyond to make a difference in students’ lives.

For some, teaching is a calling that starts early in life. This week’s excellent educator knew he wanted to teach when he was in seventh grade.

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Mike Westby teaches fifth-grade math at Zachary Lane Elementary School in Plymouth, but his passion for students goes far beyond numbers and equations.

For 15 years, Westby has been living out a childhood dream, inspired by his own excellent educators.

“All my favorite teachers were math teachers, and my coaches for football and baseball, and I kind of looked up to them a lot,” Westby said.

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These days Westby is the one who is inspiring students. One of them was so inspired she decided to nominate him for the honor. Olivia Sartor told WCCO Westby challenges students using “Brainology,” a curriculum that promotes a growth mindset.

He also uses personal experiences to drive home lessons like giving back. His grandmother introduced him to Heifer International. He, in turn, brought it to the classroom.

And Westby doesn’t keep his love for teaching to his class alone. He arranges special events for the entire school, like singing at Thursday night’s Twins game.

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You can nominate a deserving educator by going to the WCCO Morning Show’s Facebook page, telling us their name and why they should be WCCO’s Excellent Educator of the week.