MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Kelli Soupir may be new to her teaching career, but the principal at Delano Elementary School says she is wise beyond her years.

She puts her heart into her third-graders and that what makes her an Excellent Educator.

Soupir impressed a parent so much in her first year of teaching, they nominated her for the award.

“Last year was my first year was getting my feet wet,” she said. “I credit a lot of that to just the support of the school. I have an amazing third-grade team that helps with anything I need.”

In her class, Soupir transforms lessons into make-believe. She created a restaurant setting to learn about books.

“My mom is a teacher so I’ve been around it my whole life and I always been drawn to the energy that kids have and the spark and magic they bring every day, and I’m still a little kid myself and I don’t want to let that go,” she said.

Making her class one big family is an important part of her mission.

“We talk everyday about being a class family, coming together, supporting one another, celebrating together, being sad together,” she said. “You’re going to see improvement and that is just the end goal.”

An example of her excellence, the parent who nominated her says she mentioned some challenges her son has had in past years with transitioning from one grade to another.

Soupir remembered that and emailed her if she thinks he is displaying behavior that is out of the norm. As a parent, she felt Soupir truly cared and wants to watch over her students.

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