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New Lothrop teacher and high school receive VFW honors

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Every year the VFW honors America's Teachers with what they call the Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award. A New Lothrop math teacher took home the top prize...the best in the nation.

NEW LOTHROP, Mich. (WJRT) -  It was a surprise no one saw coming.

A double honor for New Lothrop High School.

Both the school and a beloved math teacher were named the best in their class by the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Every year the VFW honors America's teachers with what they call the Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award.

Jessica Marcet, is a New Lothrop math teacher and she took home the top prize.

"I had students cheering, I had students clapping and I guess I don't realize that's how they think of me I'm just a math teacher," she said.

New Lothrop High School Principal Kim Kuchar said it is how Marcet teaches math that sets her apart from the rest.

"I think she makes amazing connections with her students," said Kuchar.

Every student doesn't consider math as their favorite subject but Kuchar said Marcet makes it relatable for her students.

"Mrs. Marcet brings real life into her classroom makes math real and connectable."

Kuchar nominated Marcet for the VFW Smart/Maher award because she is a true leader. "I believe she epitomizes leadership," said Kuchar. Kuchar mentioned other qualities like citizenship service. "And giving back and that’s what our VFW is all about," she said.

Marcet not only took local honors at VFW post 6579 but she went on to become the state recipient of the award, and was recently named the National award winner.

"My dad is a Vietnam Veteran so it's quite humbling to me that I was able to share the experience with my dad," she said. It was an emotional moment for the teacher and her dad. "He was in tears, I was in tears and it was quite rewarding to be able to share that with him."

The honors for New Lothrop didn't stop with Marcet's award.

"As we were walking off the stage the gentleman went back to the podium and said 'wait just a minute we are not done yet' and that's when they awarded New Lothrop High School the state school award for citizenship," said Kuchar. The principal said it was a total surprise and quite the honor.

Marcet said it could not have come at a better time.

"We are all facing some kind of trials and tribulations and the fact that someone is recognizing the effort that educators are putting in is really awesome," she said.