JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. -

There’s a local teacher getting ready to head to Nashville. She’s up for the Tennessee teacher of the year award. 

A third grade classroom at Woodland Elementary School in Johnson City is buzzing with excitement, because their teacher Mrs. Nancy Miles has been named a finalist for Tennessee Teacher of the Year. 

"My favorite thing about Mrs. Miles' class is we get to learn something new every day and I get to make new friends," says student Gabe Aaroen.

Miles is one of three elementary school teacher finalists from the Volunteer State. Next week she'll go to Nashville to find out if she's the top elementary teacher in the state.

If she is, she’ll go on to compete for Tennessee teacher of the year. "I love the daily interaction with children and even though we do plan we have curriculum to follow, there's always something that happens during the day that you don't expect," says Nancy Miles.

Miles colleagues nominated her and at each level of the application process she was required to do essays and interviews about her teaching. "One of the questions was what are the educational issues that teachers face today and what would you do about them," adds Miles. “It was a lot of research and I learned a lot about myself. It’s definitely been a learning experience for me."

The students in her classroom are pretty excited too. “I think it's pretty cool because she gets to go to all of these conferences and it’s kind of cool," adds Millie Williams.

Even if Mrs. Miles doesn't win the big award, the students are happy for their teacher. “We'll probably throw her a big congratulations party if she does win. I can probably get a few of my friends to work that out. Have them do things at home and bring them to school. I think I know where we could hide them,” adds Aaroen.

Miles is one of three east Tennessee finalists. She’ll represent the elementary school category.

The middle school and high school east Tennessee representatives are both out of the Knoxville area.