It's not often teachers are recognized for a job well done, but one Wheatland teacher was honored for being one of the best in the country at what she does.
Mary Jo Birt has only been teaching geography at Wheatland Middle School for two years, but quickly realized she had a passion for it.
"What's not to like about geography?! Geography's just fun," Birt said.
That passion did not go unnoticed. Birt received the award as Distinguished Geography Educator in grades K-12 from the National Council for Geographic Education at their national meeting in Texas, plus made the trip to Cheyenne with a few of her students to be recognized by Governor Matt Mead.
"I just thought it was kind of out there and didn't think I stood a chance because this is Wyoming, but I feel very humbled to be one of the ones selected for it," Birt said.
Being a good teacher isn't difficult when you love what you're doing.
"I'm just having fun. I love teaching and I love my students," Birt said.
Birt and her students brought a giant map of Wyoming to show the Governor how it's helped them learn about everything from energy in Wyoming to knowing all 23 counties.
"She helps us have an understanding, but in a fun way. Not like just tell us and have us work on something. She shows us a map and tells us more about what we're doing," said Jillian Pino.
But it's actually Birt's students that were just as excited about the award as she was.
"I was really excited because I never thought that my teacher would be able to win an award like that, especially in a big state of Wyoming even though we don't have many people," said Amelia Wynter.