OKLAHOMA CITY - It’s said a teacher’s impact on a student lasts long after they leave the classroom. Katrina Dolezal is one of those teachers.
Dolezal teaches at Putnam North High School and has a passion for helping those who learn a little differently.
“I absolutely believe in the kids in my classroom, and know that they have all the potential in the world and will never stop helping them see what they can do in this world," she said.
And, what a difference Dolezal makes for her students.
“Anything they need to be successful in school and in life, she does,” said parent Jessica Gilmore. “She's amazing."
Her students agree.
“She's like my second mother to me," said student Evan. "I love going to see her all the time and telling her about things that happen in my life. She's just a great person."
For those reasons and many others, Dolezal was nominated for the 'Thankful For Teachers' award and the 5,000 dollar check from Air Comfort Solutions that goes with it. When we surprised her in her classroom, an emotional Dolezal asked if she could use the money for her classroom.
“It's yours, whatever you want to do," said Heisman Trophy winner and Air Comfort Solutions' Jason White.
“Truly, it is my pleasure and my honor to get to be here at Putnam City North with teachers like you because you are amazing. Congratulations,” Putnam North Principal Carole Buhr told a tearful and stunned Dolezal.
And, for the former University of Oklahoma star, the Air Comfort Solutions 5,000 dollar award pays off in a lot of different ways.
"To walk into this classroom and see her reaction, her surprise... - it’s an amazing experience,” White said. “This is our sixth one, and they keep getting better and better and, to do this with Air Comfort Solutions and you guys, it’s been a great experience."
'Thankful 4 Teachers' is sponsored by Air Comfort Solutions.