The Virginia Lottery presents the Super Teacher Award to eight Virginia teachers each year, one for each region. 

The nomination letter, written by a parent, says "I am constantly astounded by her creativity, organization, passion, commitment. Ms. Straume is constantly coming up with creative, new ways to learn the current topic via music, drama, a webcast, an art project. She is living breathing proof that teachers do NOT have to 'teach to a test,' that it's possible to learn 'requirements' in fun, dynamic ways."

"I know if I'm going to be a little bit bored, they're definitely going to be bored with the lesson.  So I try and find ways that will get them collaborating and talking and really trying to dig in deep into learning for learning's sake and to become lifelong learners,” Straume said.:

Straume's class has participated in the Virginia Film Festival, had a 'Willy Wonka' day, Greek and Roman events, and much more.

The award is compromised of a $2,000 in cash and a $2,000 credit to The Supply Room Companies. Straume says the prize money will definitely be spent on things for her classroom.