RICHMOND, Va. (AP)- Virginia's 2016 teacher of the year is a fifth-grade educator in Salem.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Natalie DiFusco-Funk's selection Monday night. The governor called her "the best of the best."
DiFusco-Funk is a 12-year classroom veteran who teaches at West Salem Elementary School. She earned her master's in education at Boston College.
Salem's school superintendent, H. Alan Seibert, called DiFusco-Funk a "consummate professional" who makes a positive difference for young children.
As for the teacher of the year, DiFusco-Funk says teaching has been a "dream come true."
She was chosen among eight regional candidates. They were honored with a reception at the Executive Mansion in Richmond.