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‘This is so surreal’: New Kent teacher wins vacation from Virginia Lottery

Updated: Jun. 7, 2021 at 4:53 PM EDT
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NEW KENT Co., Va. (WWBT) - Representatives from the Virginia Lottery and First Lady of Virginia Pam Northam surprised Shelly Hogge, a teacher from New Kent Middle School, with a once-in-a-lifetime prize stemming from their “Thank a Teacher” campaign.

On Monday afternoon, the group surprised Hogge in her classroom as one of the two lucky teachers who won a Virginia-themed vacation and $5,000 from the Supply Room for school supplies at New Kent Middle School.

“This is so surreal. I had no idea what was happening,” Hogge said. “I’m very shocked and very happy.”

The Virginia Lottery says Hogge’s name was drawn from nearly 4,000 entries submitted by teachers who entered a special note on the thank-you notes they received last month.

“This year, we had 30,000 thank you notes that were distributed statewide to classroom teachers,” said Kevin Hall, executive director of the Virginia Lottery. “Each note had a special code and we held a random drawing to pick two teachers who got a thank you note.”

A sign of appreciation the First Lady of Virginia says goes a long way during this tough year.

“To hear thank you means the world to folks like this who work so hard day in and day out to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our children,” she said.

Hogge says she appreciates the grand prize as she continues her passion to teach her students.

“It’s been such a difficult year and we’re all just trying to do our best for everybody,” Hogge said. “Every year, you learn and you grow. I just hope I’m here for the students. My purpose is for them.

For her Virginia-themed vacation, Hogge has the choice to take a winery and brewery vacation or a health and wellness vacation. She has not decided on which one she is choosing.

The second teacher who won this grand prize in the Hampton Roads area will be surprised on Tuesday.

Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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