OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Each month during the school year, FOX4 is teaming up with Volkswagen of Lee’s Summit to honor the hard work of educators making an impact in the Kansas City area.

Our “Teacher of the Month” winner for August is Carolyn Wolff of Comanche Elementary School, which is in the Shawnee Mission School District.

During our visit to Ms. Wolff’s classroom, she told FOX4’s Loren Halifax she’s always wanted to be a teacher, even as a child.

“Yeah, I had lots of dolls, so I taught my dolls,” Wolff said. “I had my desk in my room and just liked pretending, playing school.”

And just like she learned through her playtime as a child, she uses that method in her classroom today.

“We have lots of fun centers that correlate with our learning and with our thematic units,” Wolff said, “so giving them those play opportunities and making those connections from learning to play.”

FOX4 received multiple nominations for Wolff, who has been at Comanche Elementary for the past six years.

Parents said her care and focus on every student helps with their progress in and out of the classroom. Some of her students start the year not speaking any English. But by the end of the school year, they not only speak it, but they can also read in English as well.

As for her favorite part of teaching, it’s connecting with the students.  

“I just go home every day, reflecting on being with the children, thinking about who made a connection today,” Wolff said, “who is working really hard on maybe a letter in their name, and they got it today, and just seeing their big smiles.”

Wolff received a $750 gift card as her prize. She said she’s planning on buying new toys and school supplies with the money.

If you have a favorite educator in the area you’d like to nominate, go to fox4kc.com/teacher. Each month’s winner gets a $750 gift card and is featured on FOX4 News at 4 p.m.

FOX4’S Teacher of the Month contest is sponsored by Volkswagen Lee’s Summit.