Julie Thompson's Tuesday morning Spanish class was interrupted with joyous clapping from a group of her colleagues, a pair of RETRO 102.5 DJ's and the Lesher Middle School principal.

Thompson was surprised as the December Teacher Tuesday winner — the monthly Townsquare Media series that honors Northern Colorado educators. Her prize package includes a $500 check from UNC for the Poudre School District facility.

Thompson collected the most votes among six monthly finalists to win. Check out the gallery of her winning the monthly award.

Submit a worthy educator to be entered below for future months.

Thompson said her favorite part about being a teacher is...

Being able to directly connect with kids (i.e. our collective future) is something I do not take for granted. Even though I believe my academic content is extremely valuable and important, helping kids realize that THEY are valuable and important is much more powerful in creating a stronger community- both locally and worldwide. Middle school is a time when kids are going to make some mistakes or bad choices. I hope to help them learn from these missteps and to become better people for it, and to model showing grace and forgiveness to others as well. And even though I am a teacher, I also consider myself a life-long learner and feel that it is a privilege to consistently be able to learn more, refine my strategies and improve my methods. Every day I strive to reach students in relevant, useful, inclusive, fun and interesting ways. Each child is has individual needs and my goal is to be sure every student feels that they have grown and gained real world skills and have the confidence to apply them beyond the classroom walls. And nothing is more gratifying than hearing from a student years later that has chosen a path in their life because something from my class resonated with them.