SPARTA, Wis. (WKBT) -

A Sparta Elementary school teacher is recognized for outstanding work in the beginning of her career.

Beth Grams was presented with the inaugural Early Career Educator Award from Viterbo University.

Beth graduated from Viterbo and has been teaching kindergarten for two years at Lawrence Lawson Elementary.

The school's principal says she's already a leader in education.

Beth was humble upon receiving the honor. "It was just an incredible honor to be recognized by my former teachers and to receive the awards in front of my colleagues who I admire so much and the students as well, because it's just as much their award as it is mine."

"As an educator and a parent, I want somebody who has compassion in the classroom, you can be book smart, you can be knowledgeable, but you have to have heart," said Viterbo's Asst. Dean of Graduate Programs in Education Rhonda Rabbitt.

This is the first year for the award.