AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Meet Meghan DeHart and Terri Bunyard. They are both nominated for Region 16 Regional Teacher of the Year.

“It’s a very humbling honor to be nominated because your coworkers nominate you to begin with,” said DeHart, a 7th grade ELA teacher at River Road Middle School. “So for them to think that much of you that you get your initial nomination is just very humbling.”

“I would have to agree,” Bunyard, a 2nd grade ELA teacher at Rolling Hills Elementary School added. “And then once you get from there, being selected as one of 10, from all of the districts in Region 16 is just, it’s a bit unreal.”

We learned some pretty cool facts about both teachers. Like Mrs. DeHart, who got certified to teach at age 39, and Mrs. Bunyard, who keeps snacks in her room for kids who may not be as fortunate at home.

They are both nominated for the same award, but they took different paths into the profession of teaching.

“I’ve never worked in a school. I did a little bit of subbing here and there, but it was never consistent. And as I got older and time went on, I thought you know, I really do want to work with kids,” Mrs. Bunyard said.

Mrs. DeHart added, “I started as a substitute teacher here, and I was here all the time. So they asked me to just kind of come on staff as a paraprofessional, so that’s when I got to really be in the classrooms and see, what are the teachers doing.”

Both women said they understand the struggles many teachers are facing right now, and their message, “what you’re doing matters, like you are seen, and what you do matters, whether you feel it from these kids, you’re impacting them,” Mrs. DeHart emphasized.

“It can be life changing for some of these kids to know that you know, just because you said something about their art that one day they want to be an artist or you said something about them being a writer, and now they want to be an author. It matters,” Mrs. Bunyard explained.

Just in time for the back-to-school bell.

The winners will be announced Thursday, August 11, at 8 a.m.