A Neosho Christian School teacher received a surprise on Monday, as he was named the recipient of the Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce Private School 2013 Gold Star Teacher of the Year award.
Tye Zola teaches the Christian school's high school math and physics students. He began at the school in February 2012.
"I was incredibly surprised," said Zola, after hearing that he received the award. "This is kind of my second thing that I do, I am also youth minister full time at Rocketdyne Church of Christ. I was really surprised that I was nominated and selected for that. Wow, I am just amazed."
The award was presented by Chamber President Jason Stipp, during the school assembly.
"I want to pick out a few words that kind of caught my attention about this individual who has won this award: knowledgeable, fun, helpful, wonderful, available, patient, and understanding," Stipp said. "Then I also had one quick sentence that describes him: 'This person is always willing to help during class time, and any other time I need him.'"
"I was just thankful and surprised that they thought I was doing so much for them," Zola said. "I am humbled. I always second guess myself on my teaching ability and I was able to see that they were really interested in it."
The chamber's education committee presents these awards every year in recognition of superior teaching achievement and unselfish service to the students in the area.
Upcoming awards ceremonies
• The chamber's education committee will announce the winner of the Neosho R-5 School District's teachers of the year at 4 p.m. Thursday at the high school cafeteria;
• The Crowder College teacher of the year will be announced at noon Friday at the college's cafeteria.