NATOMAS (CBS13) — To be named “Teacher of the Year” at your school is considered an honor, but to be chosen three times, at three different schools, is rare.

Jennifer Nunes now has that title. She was selected as American Lakes’ new Teacher of the Year. On top of that, she won Natomas Unified’s District Teacher of the Year.

Nunes has been a teacher for 21 years, spending 16 of those years in the Natomas Unified District. Many of those years were spent in classrooms with special education students.

“How I’m supporting them today, what does that look like 10 years, 20 years down the road?”  Nunes said.

Her work was noticed by others including her principal, Tom Dickinson.

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“She’s doing something right,” Dickinson said. “Wherever she goes, and whatever she teaches, she’s the teacher of the year.”

Nunes previously was Teacher of the Year for Natomas Park Elementary in 2012 and Jefferson School in 2007. She has served Natomas Unified students since 2003.

She says she was speechless when she found out.

“I was very surprised but very honored,” Nunes said.

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Nunes says it takes a village to get this award.

“I’ve always felt supported and felt like I could be the best teacher that I could be,” she said.

“There are 180 days of the school year, every day she comes prepared. There is no off day for her,” Dickinson said.

Nunes says she never gives up on a child, and no matter what their ability. As NUSD’s Teacher of the Year, Nunes’ name will be submitted to the Sacramento County Office of Education for consideration when it chooses the county’s top teacher.

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