OLATHE, Kan. — Kansas has a new teacher of the year for 2024, and he teaches right in the metro.

“I love my job, I love my kids, I love their support,” Taylor Bussinger told FOX4 Tuesday.

Bussinger teaches eighth grade history, coaches cross county, and he’s a student favorite at Prairie Trail Middle School in Olathe.

“Genuinely the most fun, energetic, person I’ve ever had as a teacher,” one of Bussinger’s students, Alexa Reeves, said. “And every time I walk in there, it’s just like a burst of energy and I love being in his class.”

He was shocked when he won the award during Saturday’s Dale Dennis Kansas Teacher of the Year Banquet, but the prestigious recognition came as no surprise to his fellow educators.

“We are just so proud of Taylor, he is so deserving of this honor,” Prairie Trail Principal Jenna Jones said. “He shows up every day for kids and just goes above and beyond. He is passionate, he is dedicated, and he really embraces mentoring students more than just teaching them.”

The Huskies family celebrated the new Kansas Teacher of the Year on Tuesday with a parade with students and staff lining school hallways, giving high fives and notes of congratulations for the major accomplishment.

“There’s a million good teachers out there and I’m just happy to be there advocating for teachers and students,” Bussinger said. “Really seek to uplift the voice of our students, that’s what my job’s all about as a history educator.”

He’s now also in the running for National Teacher of the Year, but in the meantime, he’ll be fairly busy, completing speaking tours and presentations to different schools across the state.

“He’s just so kind to every single person and there’s no one I haven’t seen he’s not talking to, and he’s just always there for everyone,” Reeves said. “He’s just amazing.”