Feb. 26—ANDERSON — Surrounded by school administrators and her third-grade students on Thursday, Tenth Street Elementary School teacher Susan Daoust was announced as the 2022 Best of Madison County Educator of the Year.
When it was announced, "Daoust's Doggies," a nickname she has for her students, burst with excitement, cheering for their teacher's newest accomplishment.
Daoust felt humbled when she presented with the award, saying that it was the best gift she could ever receive.
She originally found out she was nominated for the award because one of her students' parents informed her.
Once she reached the top five, more people started telling her and she was shocked.
"I honestly thought I was going to get second," she said. "Second best in Madison County is pretty darn good."
School and district administrators expressed their excitement and appreciation for Daoust at the surprise announcement.
"This is well overdue for you and I'm very proud of you and this moment," DJ Suchocki, principal at Tenth Street Elementary, told Daoust.
He explained that Daoust is dedicated to making sure her students are where they need to be.
"She does a good job (at) taking what's she teaching and coming to their levels," Suchocki said.
Eric Davis, assistant superintendent with Anderson Community Schools, said Daoust is a phenomenal teacher.
"She's indicative of the quality teachers we have (at ACS)," said Dr. Joe Cronk, ACS superintendent.
While appreciative of the award, Daoust said that she is "no better than anybody else."
"There's just so many other great teachers in our district," she said, to which Cronk said there was no one more deserving than her.
In her 27 years of teaching, Daoust, an Anderson native, has only taught for ACS, though she has taught for numerous schools within the district.
Daoust, who also attended ACS, has two children, one who has graduated from ACS and the other still attending as a senior.
She noted that she comes from a teaching family, as both of her parents were teachers for ACS.
"We're all about ACS," Daoust said of her family.
Right after the honor was announced, Daoust said her father would be extremely happy, as he taught for a long time.
One of the reasons Daoust got into teaching is because of her mother.
"She taught at Forest Hills and she was so good," she said. "She built the relationships that I've learned to do by watching her. Really hard on them but loving them."
Watching her mother build relationships with students and seeing how much her students loved her as a teacher, encouraged Daoust to purse teaching.
Throughout the pandemic, Daoust noted she still loved on her kids, including giving hugs.
"I'm still hugging on my kids, because some of them don't get any hugs ever," she said.
Three weeks ago, Daoust had rotator cuff surgery and came back to school the week after the procedure.
She recalled that everyone kept asking her why she was coming back so soon, to which she responded, "My kids need me."
Follow Kylee Mullikin on Twitter @kyleemullikinhb, or call 765-640-4250.