She's a teacher whose name is often heard around campus, constantly followed by words of positivity.

Kids that graduated from her school still talk about her and miss her.

12 News captured the exciting moment a student and his mom surprised her at school for helping him through a difficult journey.

“You’re the 12 News Teacher of the Week,” said Kelly Sauerbrei alongside her son Asher as they congratulated his 7th-grade reading teacher Dana Thomas at Sunset Hills Elementary School. “Don’t cry,” she said.

It’s a title Thomas didn’t expect!

“Thank you so much!” she said. “I was having a meeting with my principals and they were like, we’ll walk and talk… and there were all of these people.”

“Thank you so much… there are probably other teachers who deserve this way more, but this is my job, you know, and I’ll always do whatever I can to be there for kids,” said Thomas.

“Asher has hearing loss, it’s intermittent hearing loss, so it’s one of those things that are a challenge to deal with, so on certain days he can hear, certain days he cannot,” said Sauerbrei. “No matter where he was on that spectrum, he always had you to lean on.”

“Having somebody advocating for him all year round, has been a Godsend for us,” she said. “You were his rock this whole school year and I really, really appreciate it.”

Getting this recognition is gratifying for Thomas.

“It adds so much to the end of the school year… it’s just overwhelming,” she said. “He’s an awesome kid and he will always do great things, because he’s got a mom who supports him so much, but he’s also worked so hard to show that he is invested in his learning and wants to be better, so I’m so proud of him.”

“Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!” she said. “This is so kind and now you’re putting me on TV, are we going to be famous?”

If you know an A+ Teacher who deserves to be recognized, be sure to email us your nomination. The email is

Please include the teacher's name, school they teach at, why he or she should be recognized and your contact information.