MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — WCCO This Morning visited Burnsville to surprise a teacher that is helping students get the credits they need to graduate high school.

Kim Durand teaches at Burnsville Alternative High School. Her students are often behind on their credits and often don’t speak English as a primary language.

But Durand is always up for the challenge to help them accomplish their graduation goals. It’s what makes her an Excellent Educator.

“I work with students who are new to the country and learning English,” she said. “They come to the country and they are motivated they want to learn, they just want to be part of the high school.”

Durand says working with students who are learning English is more of a joy than a challenge.

“You see little things happen, a little light will turn on and something will click and it’s just awesome,” she said.

After subbing at other schools in the district, she came to Burnsville Alternative High School four years ago. She says education is in her blood.

“My mother and father were educators and I’ve always loved children, my mother had a family day care and so I’ve always loved to be around children,” she said. “I would be out collecting other people’s children before I had my own so I just love kids.”