Preschool teacher gets $10K for outstanding efforts

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A preschool teacher at USC's UPC Child Development Learning Center was awarded $10,000 for doing an exceptional job.

Veronica Brenes spends her days answering lots of questions from curious three and four year olds and helping to prepare them for school.

She has been a teacher at the University of Southern California's UPC Child Development Center for three years.

On Thursday, during storytime, Brenes was stunned when she saw her name on the final page of the book. Brenes had no idea she would be receiving the Knowledge Universe Early Childhood Educator Award along with a check for $10,000.

"When I saw that page, I kind of just broke down," Brenes said. "It was a big surprise."

The award was presented by Knowledge Universe, the nation's largest private provider of early childhood education.

Brenes says she loves her job.

"Everyday, there's always something new, there's always something new that they bring to you. They challenge me, they make me want to be better," Brenes said.

Brenes was one of only 10 teachers chosen from a field of 28,000 to receive this special award.

"Veronica is an amazing phenomenal teacher, and she is very deserving," UPC Child Development Center Director Paula Lamar said.

A spokesman for Knowledge Universe says Brenes was chosen because of her skill at providing a quality learning experience.

"We saw Veronica in action and we're just blown away by how she engages children, how she engages parents, how she implements programs and curriculum pieces," David Roy of Knowledge Universe said.

Brenes says the $10,000 will help pay for her own education.

"I'm actually going to school right now, so maybe paying some of the loans off that I have," Brenes said.

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