WEATHERFORD, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Third grade teacher Karen Sams, of Weatherford ISD’s David Crockett Elementary School, has been named Texas Elementary School Teacher of the Year by the Texas Association of School Administrators.

It’s the highest honor the state bestows upon its teachers.

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Sams was named a finalist for the award in August.

Sams will now represent the state as Texas Teacher of the Year in the National Teacher of the Year competition next spring.

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Karen Sams, David Crockett Elementary, teacher (courtesy: Weatherford ISD)

“Students learn best by being engaged and collaborating with others,” said Sams. “One way that I connect with students and reach them on a more personal level is through humor. When teachers share a laugh or a smile with students, it helps them feel more comfortable and open to learning.”

In her 15-year career in education, Sams has taught first through third grades as well as K-5 music.

She is passionate about public education and has committed her entire career to helping students in Title 1 schools.

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In addition to teaching, Sams serves on the Campus Improvement Team and the Restorative Practices Campus Behavior Team.