ANDERSON, Mo. — A local teacher is getting some extra spending money for her classroom, thanks to Arvest Bank and its “We Love Teachers Grant.”

Five-hundred dollars is going to Gyla Holz, a 5th-grade science teacher at Anderson Elementary. She was surprised with the large check Friday morning.

She was chosen because of the way she goes above and beyond to improve the educational experience of her students, according to school officials.

“She’s the teacher who doesn’t take off during her lunch duties, she sits at the table with her students and builds relationships with her students, she does after-school activities with her students, she shows up to student ballgames,” said Paulette Pattengill, Anderson Elementary Principal.

“They’re like my kids, I even call them my kids. They mean the world to me. I cherish each and every one of them,” said Holz.

Holz is one of 144 teachers across the Four States to receive $500. She said her students are already getting to work on how to spend the money.