GREENVILLE, PITT COUNTY -

Jami Dickerson, a third grade teacher at Eastern Elementary School in Greenville, was selected as the Farm Bureau-Pitt County Schools teacher of the year.

The annual luncheon ceremony was held in Greenville at the Rock Springs Center Wednesday afternoon.  Dickerson was selected out of more than 30 teachers nominated for the award.

She has worked at Eastern Carolina Elementary School for five years. She said she hopes she can serve as an inspiration to other teachers just starting out.

"I want beginning teachers to know that they can do it. Sometimes it's scary right when you graduate and you go into a classroom but you can succeed and you can succeed quickly," she said.

Dickerson received a free Hyundai Elantra that she can drive around for a year. She also received other gifts and cash. The car was provided by Joe Pecheles Automotive Group in Greenville.

“I’ve been wanting this so badly, and when I looked over and saw my principal tear up and then I was through. I'm just so excited, and I really want to change public education for the better,” Dickerson said.

Russell Knight, a high school teacher at JH Rose in Greenville, was selected as the runner-up. He walked away with several gifts as well.

"We just have such an amazing staff at Rose High School. Such a diverse staff with so many different talents, and it's just such an honor to be representing them, to be chosen by my peers and get to work with the outstanding students and staff at Rose," he said.

Brian Pecheles said this is their third year of a being a part of the event, and they have no plans of stopping any time soon.

“We always say education is the key to our future. And educators are such great mentors and so it's just a great way to give back to the community where we serve,” Pecheles said.

Each teacher nominated for the award received a special plaque.