Laura Modreske has been in education for 37 years, the last six coming in Hamilton. Since her arrival, she has captured the hearts of so many young Hawkeyes in her Early Childhood Special Education program at Bentheim Elementary.

On August 25, Modreske was rewarded for all of her hard work by winning the 'One School at a Time' $1,000 grant from Family Fare, Spartan Nash, and WOODTV. 'As you may remember, Hamilton Middle School teacher Mr. Bill Mousel won the first-ever award in June, so Modreske is the second Hawkeye in the first three months of the grant's history to be awarded it! The grants are awarded based on the creativity, community impact, school impact, and execution of the school's grant proposal.

As for her plans for the $1,000, Modreske is going to put it to good use for her young Hawkeyes. "This money is our starting point to develop our preschool playground, because all of our playground equipment here is designed for children I want them to be able to get out and explore nature a little bit more, be on the grass, climb, build, and do things they can't do in the setting we have now."

Bentheim Elementary principal Jared Randall accompanied Laura to accept the check and also took the time to explain what her presence means around the building.

"First and foremost, Laura is a fantastic human being," Randall smiled, "She's a unique blend of a farmer's work ethic and a person who has a deep, innate, passionate love for kids, especially kids who have unique needs. She really sets them up for success, no matter where they go after her classroom."

While bond dollars will soon be hard at work revamping the Bentheim Elementary playground, Laura says she will continue to look for more grants to help make the playground the best it can be for her students as well. Congratulations, Laura and thank you for all of your hard work!