NARACOORTE South Primary School's very own Natalie Gherardin is SA's most inspirational primary school teacher.
After receiving three anonymous nominations in the SA Public Teaching Awards, the Reception/ Year 1 teacher was named SA's Inspirational Primary School Teacher of the Year at a ceremony on World Teachers Day last Friday.
Along with the winners from six other award categories, Ms Gherardin took home a $20,000 scholarship to go towards her professional development.
"I cannot believe it and am still in shock," she told the Herald. "I was not expecting it at all.
"It has been really nice to be acknowledged and I am thankful for the people who nominated me. I feel really special."
Ms Gherardin took out the top gong for her innovative approach to teaching and for the links she has established with children, parents and the local community.
"Building strong, respectful relationships with students is the key to ensuring students needs are met," she wrote in her application after being nominated.
"I work extremely hard to ensure that I know and understand the capacities of each of my students and spend time building a respectful, trusting relationship with them so I am able to challenge them to reach their potential."
At this stage Ms Gherardin, who has been teaching for 12 years, is unsure about what exactly she will spend the scholarship money on.
"I would like to look more into early childhood education and develop my IT skills further," she said.
The SA Public Teaching Awards this year drew 1700 nominations from around the State.
Naracoorte South Primary School principal Anna Young also attended the ceremony at the National Wine Centre in Adelaide as a finalist in the Inspirational School/Preschool Leader of the Year category.
Penola Primary School teacher Kel Barns and Penola High School's Winsley Wighton were also finalists in the teaching awards.