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Classroom Hero: Prairie Norton’s Lisa Oney still connecting with students after 30 years

10TV teamed up with the Ohio Education Association and 97.1 The Fan to honor these heroes making a difference in the lives of children.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Lisa Oney spends her days surrounded by the cutest of kindergartners, who also happen to keep her very, very busy.

“I still love it as much as I did the first year,” she said.

And that first year was 30 years ago, all of them spent in the South-Western City Schools. In fact, Oney also attended school in that district. And she gives credit to one of her grade school teachers for inspiring her desire to pursue education as a career.

And Oney hasn’t looked back since, often staying in touch with her students long after they walk out of her classroom door for the final time.

“I just love to see them, that little, tiny piece of what I did, I guess, that seed that I planted, turns into that tree” she said.

Seeing her mom’s dedication to her work and her students inspired Olivia Oney as well. At one point, she, too, thought about becoming a teacher, even playing with a white board in her room.

“As a teacher, I feel like she’s very similar to how she is as a mom because I’ve heard her talk about her students as if they’re her own kids,” she said.

That’s just one reason she decided her mother would be deserving of being a Classroom Hero.

“I work from home, so I had the news on while I was working, and I heard them say, nominate someone for Classroom Hero, and my mom fit the bill perfectly,” she said. “I think if anyone is the epitome of a Classroom Hero, it’s my mom.”

And she gives her mother extra credit for working through the pandemic, which certainly was not easy when trying to keep 5-year-olds engaged online. Olivia Oney said all teacher deserve credit for persevering and could use that extra shout-out. Her mom agrees.

“COVID’s been really difficult, especially with kindergartners, and it’s just that little, tiny lift that I needed to keep going,” she said.

Each week, a Classroom Hero will be spotlighted on Wake Up CBUS. You can nominate teachers, coaches or any staff member who is making an impact.

RELATED: Nominate your 'Classroom Hero'