KILGORE, Texas (KETK) — Two hard-working East Texas educators earned the coveted title of Region 7’s Regional Teacher of the Year.

KETK’s Kaci Koviak had the honor of emceeing today’s ceremony hosted by the Region 7 Education Center in Kilgore.

Catherine Jackson, of Carthage ISD, was named Secondary Teacher of the Year and Pydi Oliver, of Lindale ISD, was named Elementary Teacher of the Year.

Jackson is an English and AP language teacher at Carthage High School.

Jackson said she “makes it a priority to help her students solve problems, see the value in differences, realize there’s power in uniqueness and innovation and understands what they learn in the classroom can help them outside of the classroom.”

Oliver teaches third-grade math and science at Velma Penny Elementary in Lindale.

“Some people were simply born to be teachers and Oliver is one of these people. With her passion for teaching math in a fun and exciting way, and loving her kids ‘more than bacon,’ she is truly unforgettable,” said district officials.

Along with the title, the two also received checks for more than $1,200, donated by Orr Cadillac in Longview.

40 teachers were recognized as Teachers of the Year within their districts.

Oliver and Jackson now advance to the State Teacher of the Year conference. The overall winner will be announced in late October.

Pictured left to right: Catherine Jackson, Kaci Koviak, Pydi Oliver