Schmidt named Best Teacher in Tri-State by WKDQ

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By Rachel Christian

Mount Vernon agriculture teacher, Alicia Schmidt was preparing to take attendance when representatives from an Evansville country music station entered her classroom and informed her she had been chosen as their Best Teacher in the Tri-State.

Schmidt said she was shocked to learn she had won.

“I actually didn’t know I had been nominated until a few days before when someone on Facebook send me a link to the voting page,” she said.

During Teacher Appreciation Week, WKDQ encouraged listeners to vote for their favorite local educator on its website. They received 305 different nominations, and then listeners casted their votes for one of the top five most-nominated candidates.

“We wanted to celebrate those who have impacted the lives of many in the Tri-State by guiding, educating and molding us into the people we have become today,” the country station’s website stated.

In addition to her surprise classroom visit, Schmidt received a free stay at the Grand Ole Opry Resort in Nashville and a $50 gift card to Bar Louie in Evansville.

Schmidt said her students were thrilled to see her selected, but noted that they have not failed to remind her how she won.

“It wasn’t long before they started saying, ‘Well, we should get extra credit or an ice cream party for voting for you,’” the educator said with a laugh.

This is Schmidt’s first year as the agriculture instructor for Mount Vernon Junior and Senior High Schools. With the last day of the school right around the corner, the young teacher said she is proud of her first year accomplishments.

“It’s been hectic, but productive,” she said. “The program is growing and we sent many FFA students to state this year. I’m extremely proud of them, and am looking forward to what we can do next year.”