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May 9Teachers Who Care winner: Leslie Dodge

11:07 AM, May 10, 2013   |    comments
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DENVER - When someone has been in the same job for more than 40 years and can't wait to get to work every day, they obviously must love what they do. That describes Leslie Dodge perfectly.

Mrs. Dodge teaches fifth grade in the Polaris program at Ebert Elementary School in Denver. Over the years, she has taught all kinds of classes, has had all kinds of students and has loved almost every minute of it. 

"I love my students, my grandkids, my kids", Dodge said. "I was put on Earth to teach, and I really feel that. So as long as I can do it, it's what I want to do."

One student, Katherine Hueston, nominated her for the 9Teachers Who Care award. She says Mrs. Dodge's energy in class is infectious. 

"She's really exciting, and she's happy to be around her students. It's not like you have to drag her out of bed in the morning because she has to come to work!" 

One of the parents 9NEWS met said he and his wife were always holding their breath, hoping their kids would get Leslie Dodge for their teacher. 

"I always say to my wife, 'I feel like we won the best kind of lottery,'" Alex Burney said. "Because she's prepared our four kids for excellence into middle school, high school, even college." 

Burney said Mrs. Dodge is one of the rare teachers who can challenge the kids in creative ways, while keeping class fresh and fun. Once she wrote a musical that involved every student in the school. 

It's common for her to spend extra time outside of class, working one-on-one with students who are struggling. She says she loves teaching because each day is a new challenge and another opportunity to impact a child's life.

To nominate someone you know for 9Teachers Who Care, fill out this form: http://on9news.tv/fMZBL3.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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