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Junior Journalist Samantha Walton has a special connection to this week's my Teacher is Tops Winner. Walton went to Mary Persons High School in Monroe County to help honor her cross country coach.

Coach Steve Herr was shocked that he was nominated for and won the award. "It feels great, made my day, made my week," said Herr.

Christin Franklin nominated him. She said Coach Herr not only cares about students' education, but also their personal lives.

"Any time I was having a bad day, he made it his goal to cheer me up, and if he couldn't, he gave me someone to talk to," she said.

"I approach each day and each person with the idea that I'm here to try to help them any way I can," said Herr.

Students said he's especially helpful with math. "Instead of giving me the answer, he'll come over and he'll walk me through things," said Katie Anderson.

"It's just the way he acts and treats us when we're in class. Like when we're struggling, he doesn't just leave us out there by ourselves," added Jamal Alford.

Herr has been teaching and coaching for more than 20 years. "It's fun to work with kids. Just their personality, seeing them grow from freshman to seniors," said Herr.

A track and cross country coach, he uses sports analogies to motivate students. "If you're a distance runner and you don't run every day, well, you're not going to be a very good distance runner. If you're a math student and you don't do math every day, you're not gonna be a very good math student," he said.

We want to hear about your top teacher. Send a one-page, handwritten letter to:

My Teacher is Tops

1314 Gray Highway

Macon, Georgia 31211

Don't forget to include your name, your teacher's name and the name of your school. And remember neatness counts.

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