QUICK LINKS:

Tonia Gardner

Created: 02/12/2014 6:10 PM KAALtv.com
By: Laura Lee

(ABC 6 News) -- This weeks Excellent Educator is Tonia Gardner from Rochester.

There's one thing families say about Mrs. Tonia Gardner -- she's always smiling.

"I think it's important they see me have that same attitude everyday," she says.

That's because when you're teaching kindergarteners, she says, it never gets boring.  In fact, it's always hands on activities and lots of movement to keep her five year old's engaged.

"My job is to keep giving them things to explore," says Gardner, "I think it's extremely important in kindergarten, its their first experience with school and I want their experience to be one of fun, excitement and joy."

She's been a teacher for 15 years, the last six as a kindergarten teacher at St. Pius X Catholic School in Rochester.

"I love learning new things myself, so to be able to help kids do that everyday, learn new things, it feels like it's a blessing for me."