It's always so great to see deserving people acknowledged nationally for their hard work and dedication. It's even cooler when it's someone from right here in our hometown.

The NEA Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education Gala honored award-winning public school educators from across the U.S. in Washington, D.C. on Friday.

Boise’s own, Sonia Galaviz, has been teaching for almost 15 years and currently teaches fifth grade at Garfield Elementary School. She was present to accept the NEA Member Benefits Award for Teaching Excellence and $25,000.

It was the top award of the night and she was among five national finalists!