LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) -

The passion Viking Elementary teacher Jackie Guetschow has for teaching isn't hard to see.

"She just is an amazing lady," says her coworker and fellow teacher, Holly Gustafson.

Amazing - that's how nearly all of Jackie's fellow teachers at Viking Elementary describe her.

"She has a way of connecting with students, getting to know them, what their interests are and running with that," Gustafson said.

Jackie teaches in Holmen's early childhood special ed program that helps kids learn the basics before going on to 4K classes.

"At this level what we really want is for them to be able to get some of those life skills - I don't want them to know their abcs and not know how to ask for a glass of milk," Jackie explained.

"She's an inspiration to us and how the things she does with kids - the way you see them go from the begin to end of the year and the progress they make, she plays a huge part in that," said Gustafson.

Jackie has been teaching in the classroom  for four years now, but she says sometimes she feels like the student. 

"It's that connection with the kids first and foremost," she said. "I've learned so much - I feel like each child treaches me as much as I teach them. And so from each child I get the lesson that helps me to help the next child."

"She's so caring towards the students, she really forms bonds with the students and with their entire family," said Sue Eitland, president of the special education program.

It's that dedication to her kids that makes Jackie stand out.

"You can give the greatest lessons, but if the kids don't know you like them and care about them and they're the center of what you're doing - it doesn't matter what activities you plan if your heart isn't there," she said.