OKLAHOMA - Lillee Hartline has known Tim Haws since she was about 5-years-old.
He was her elementary school principal.
Now, she is a junior at Bethany High School, and she said he is still making sure she does not give up.
"He's always just been a positive source in my life and, whenever I have problems, he's always been there," Lillee said.
Haws' dedication has helped Lillee through some really tough years.
"Lillee has tourettes, and she has a lot of the problems that are associated with it, and he's her biggest hero," said Teresa Hartline, Lillee's mother.
Haws has experienced his own challenges in life.
His youngest son, Hudson, was left paralyzed while playing football last fall.
For the past few months, he has been at Hudson's side, helping him through recovery and rehabilitation.
All the while, the father of three was still there for his students, who he considers his extended family.
"I actually have about 1,700 kids that I feel a burden for," Haws said.
That is why the Hartlines nominated Haws for First Fidelity Bank's Pay it 4Ward.
"Lillee and Teresa, I think we can all agree that a true giver of the heart is one that gives even when they're in a time of need and help and support, so to continue that giving spirit, I'd like to give you $400 to Pay it 4Ward" said First Fidelity Bank's Nick Samarripas.
Planning the surprise for Haws was two months in the making.
Haws' office staff told him he had a meeting with an architect for a school project.
"Mr. Haws, I'm not the architect. I'm Marianne Rafferty with NewsChannel 4."
"You have been nominated by your student, Lillee, and her mom, Teresa, for First Fidelity Bank's Pay it 4Ward for all that you have done for Lillee and for all for all of your students."
"You guys set me up perfectly!"
Lillee could not wait to give Haws his cash award and thank him personally.
"On behalf of First Fidelity Bank, I honor you with $400," Lillee said. "Don't go crazy!"
Haws tells us everything he does for his students is about making each day count.
"Sometimes, when you're going through a rough patch like my youngest son is right now, you get the compass rebooted, and you realize you live life one day at a time," Haws said.
Haws planned to use the money to take his wife out to a nice dinner.