HI HAT — Prestonsburg Wal-Mart store representatives Mike Huber, manager, and Lynn Hagans, community involvement coordinator, traveled to southern Floyd County Tuesday morning to surprise South Floyd High School special education teacher Lisa Tackett with an award for being chosen as this year's "Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year" for Floyd County. Tackett, who also serves her school as chair of her department and extended school services coordinator, said the announcement both surprised and pleased her. "I'm really excited," she said. "I think this is great for our school." "The teachers in our area are superb," said Huber. "The selection process was not an easy one, but we are happy to recognize Lisa and share this great news with our community." The Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year recognition is part of a three-tiered program. At Wal-Mart stores, Sam's Clubs, Neighborhood Market stores and Wal-Mart distribution centers across the country, local teachers have been named as winners of the coveted award. Teachers were nominated by their local community members in February and selected by a committee of store or club associates. Nationwide, more than 4,000 teachers were honored by the Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year program this May 8 in honor of National Teachers Day. Winners received a check for $1,000 for their respective schools, a $100 gift card to be used for classroom supplies, a Teacher of the Year polo shirt, and a personalized certificate. All local winning teachers will have the opportunity to apply for state Teacher of the Year honors. The teacher chosen as winner on the state level will receive a $10,000 grant for their school. State winners are automatically entered into the national competition, with the opportunity to receive a $25,000 education grant for a total of $36,000 being awarded to the national winner's school. The Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year program began in 1995, and since its inception, Wal-Mart has honored more than 25,000 teachers nationwide and donated more than $18.5 million to local schools. Wal-Mart is one of the largest corporate supporters of teachers and education - last year alone giving more than $57 million in support of educational initiatives. "Lisa does a great job for our school and she deserves this honor," said South Floyd High School Principal Keith Henry. "This is a great honor and a privilege for her and for our school."