Bush Elementary School physical education teacher Branden Beeler has been named an outstanding beginning teacher by the Missouri Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.
"I always say you'd never know this was his first year teaching," Bush principal Holly Broadway said.
Beeler set a goal for himself to learn every student's name during the first week of school, Broadway explained. He also quickly jumped into leadership roles.
"He's worked to build that relationship with all of our students," Broadway said.
To celebrate Beeler's success, a caravan of supporters from Westminster College and Fulton Public Schools surprised him outside Bush with a car caravan Monday afternoon. Beeler attended Westminster College.
Friends and colleagues cheered and passed in cars decked out with signs and streamers.
"Branden was ready to teach when he was a sophomore," Westminster professor Barri Bumgarner said, praising Beeler's empathy and motivation.