A Circle Middle School science teacher was named one of five Top Teachers on "Live With Regis and Kelly" on Wednesday.
Davis Laughlin, who has taught for more than 30 years, said his trip to New York to appear on the show would be about more than his teaching career.
"I'm just honored and humbled to represent teachers and students," he said.
Laughlin was nominated by one of his students, eighth-grader Ridge Walker, and Ridge's family.
"I had him stand by me and absorb the 'hip-hip-hoorays,' " Laughlin said of the celebration Wednesday after the winners were announced.
Ridge's mother, Becky Walker, has known Laughlin for six years because he has taught three of her sons. She relished Wednesday's announcement.
"It was good, wasn't it?" Becky Walker said.
Laughlin didn't find out he was nominated for the contest until he was announced Friday as one of the 10 finalists.
He was selected as one of five Top Teachers through a vote on the "Regis and Kelly" website.
His trip to New York during the week of May 17 will fall on the last week of school.
He said he will miss the promotion ceremony for eighth-graders. But Laughlin said he won't miss any class time with his students.
He said the best part of the "Regis and Kelly" contest is reconnecting with former students, although he's tried to stay in contact with them for years.
"It's forced that to happen" more, Laughlin said.
Several former students posted congratulations on the Facebook fan page Ridge and a friend created for him called "Mr. Laughlin is awesome."
"Davis you make a difference in the lives of many young people," wrote Kelly Scooter, a former student and coworker. "True there is no amount of money or any trip that can pay you enough to describe the impact that you have on us all."