TAMPA, Fla. — Gaither High School English teacher Karen Hough has been helping students for 25 years to understand and appreciate English Literature.

“I've had kids who come back and say I never liked English before but now this is my favorite class,” she tells me as some of her students nodding their heads in agreement. 

Like most of our A+ winners it was teachers at all levels who inspired Ms Hough to take up the profession.  She remembers each of them by name.

"My first grade teacher Anne Burns from Valdosta, Georgia," Hough said. "In 10th grade I had Mrs. Allender for World Literature.  Mrs. Hickcox was my 12th grade Literature teacher. 

"When I went to college to become a teacher, she wanted me to come back and do my student teaching with her and so I did."

And even though it’s early in the school year, Karen’s 10th grade English Honors class students know she is kind of special.

“I think she's a really great teacher because she's not a teacher who just writes things on the board,” says Anthony Cruz. “You can actually see the passion in her that she wants to teach us.”

"She’s not just teaching us the material.  She is teaching us something to take away from this class and bring with us to college,” says Madison Fries.

“It’s my passion. I teach because I really want to. It’s not a job for me.  I can’t imagine doing anything else,” said Mrs. Hough.

She even has something in her class room she calls a cell phone condo. The kids love it. Why not? The condo is also a charging station for phones that have already been used for half the school day.

“Some of them are coming in at 16 percent and by the time they leave there are in the 90's. They are much happier.”

And happier means they are more focused and ready to learn.

Congratulations Mrs Hough for being an A+ teacher!