This week, we begin our 18th year of honoring local teachers with our KENS 5 Credit Human EXCEL Awards and we start the year with a surprise. Laura Peters had no idea the Boerne ISD had selected her for the award.

Peters is the Behavior teacher for Kendall Elementary.

Every class period begins with students kicking up their heels and doing a dance or exercise along with a video to work off some energy. Then Peters leads them to a quiet activity, like reading.

Once the students have had a little exercise, they're more likely to sit quietly.

Peters helps students manage their emotions so they can better learn. She brings a special understanding to her job because school was difficult for her as a child.

Peters got the extra help she needed from her father.

"When it came to multiplication, he was showing me how simple it was with nuts and bolts in the garage and how they multiplied, and I was amazed at how all of a sudden I was getting it," said Peters.

His dedication inspired her to become the first in her family to go to college.

"It took me over 10 years to finish, but I did. It took perseverance, hard work," said Peters.

Now she's teaching those keys to success to her young students through encouragement.

"Are we at chapter books yet? No. Are we going to get there? Yes. Is it going to be easy? No. It's going to be tough, but it's going to be so worth it," she tells them.

Peters has been teaching for 23 years beginning in the San Antonio Independent School District.

"We were very close to the juvenile detention center, so we would get those kids, and that's when I knew I needed to work with the behavior kids," said Peters.

"She taught me how to breathe calmly. Breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in, breathe out. It helps calm you down," said third grader Walker Watson.

"Special ed. and behavior, that's where I knew I was going to make a difference," said Peters.

Peters is dedicating her life to teaching students skills to control their feelings and persevere with learning.