CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WVEC) -- A special education teacher at Oscar F. Smith High School received a life-changing gift, Thursday night. Not only was he named the 2017 Teacher of the Year, but he was given a brand new 2017 Chevy Cruze at no cost.
Jahkari Taylor was awarded the car from Priority Chevrolet Chesapeake at a ceremony at Indian River High School. 47 teachers were honored at the event.
"It means the world to me," said Taylor. "To be driving a new car is just a tremendous blessing."
Taylor is not just a special education teacher, he is also a father of four. He has been teaching in Chesapeake schools for 10 years, and wrote the book "Overcoming Burnout: Daily Devotionals to Inspire Teachers."
Taylor and his wife had recently purchased a new van for their family, but he had to drive his wife's old car to work everyday. That car was the first vehicle his wife had ever owned, and he was the first to admit it "is not really in the best condition."
"Jahkari Taylor is making a real lasting difference in the lives of Chesapeake's children, and the Priority family is thrilled to show our appreciation with this beautiful new Chevy Cruze." said Priority Chevrolet General Manager Bill Schneider.
Taylor credits his students and faculty members for nominated him for the award.
"The students recognized the impact I was making, and I think they conveyed that to other teachers and faculty members," said Taylor. "I think they all appreciated the positive energy I bring to the table."