When Judi Elmore was asked to sit for this story, the newly named Reading Teacher of the Year by the Greater Washington Reading Council was reluctant. "I don't know if I'm ready for this," she said.
After being named by the council, Elmore didn't even realize when she drove her car into the parking lot at Woodley Hills, where she has taught for five years, administrators had celebrated the recognition by congratulating her publicly on the school's sign.
"When someone asked me whether I saw the sign, I said ‘yes, it said something about turkeys. What's nice about that?'"
"No Judi," her colleague said, "you didn't see the other side." In bold letters, the school had honored her achievement: "Congratulations Judi Elmore, Teacher of the Year, Greater Washington Reading Council."
"That would be Judi," Principal Sharon Aldredge said.
"She has had a hard time with the recognition. She's just being who she is: a person who does what's right because that's the quality of person she is.
"She plays a tremendous role. She's an amazing teacher, educator, and person. This woman is dedicated. She's helped to turn our reading program into something successful."