L’Anse, Mich. (WJMN) – Sister Carolee Vanness, a 1st and 2nd grade teacher at Sacred Heart Catholic School is the latest recipient of Portage Health Foundation’s Superior Educators award.

“She’s loving, she’s caring, and if you make a mistake, well, she helps you figure it out,” said Roman Brennan, 4th grade student, Sacred Heart.

Students past and present lined up to sing the praises of Sr. Carolee.

“She is a very nice teacher, and also she’s caring, and very helping, very nice,” said Paige Cote, 2nd grade student, Sacred Heart.

Sr. Carolee has been teaching 1st and 2nd grades for over 46 years, serving in 10 schools, across 5 states. Touching generations of young minds as a teacher and as a friend.

“It helps so much if your teacher is a friend,” said Edward Carmody, 4th grade student, Sacred Heart.

“To touch children and to help them grow, and to see the growth in them, it’s just, it’s just amazing,” said Sr. Carolee.

The Superior Educators award is given out to recognize the outstanding faculty and staff of schools in Keweenaw, Houghton, Baraga, and Ontonagon counties. A fitting tribute to Sr. Carolee, as she is retiring after this school year.

“There’s never any chaos in her classroom,” said Christy Miron, Principal, Sacred Heart. “Her students know what’s expected and they rise to that because they have that structure, and they just want to please her because she is such a loving individual, they know that she loves them.”

“It’s a gift and it’s a pleasure,” said Sr. Carolee. “It’s a privileged really, to be able to be a part of their lives and try to stress the positive is so important in this day and age.”

To learn more about the award, click here.