BURLINGTON, Iowa – It has not been an easy year in Dala Wolfe's fifth grade class at Burlington's Corse Elementary School.
"The year started off great," explained Mrs. Wolfe. "I have a great group of kids and then, in October, I was diagnosed with breast cancer."
Since then, Mrs. Wolfe has only been able to come to class to visit in between chemotherapy treatments.
"She pushes students to work harder and makes learning enjoyable." -Keirah Wiseman
And that includes this day, to make sure she sees the student who picked her as her Favorite Teacher.
"She is an overall amazing teacher," explained Keirah Wiseman, a fifth grader who nominated Mrs. Wolfe for the "My Favorite Teacher" award. "She pushes students to work harder and makes learning enjoyable."
Keirah Wiseman and the students at Corse Elementary are learning the basics: reading, writing, and arithmetic. But they're also learning how important it is to stay strong and to help others when they need it most.
"Since she was going through all this, that she might have needed something and I thought she would like it," said Keirah.
"It makes me want to be here and continue to teach into the future," explained Mrs. Wolfe.
Mrs. Wolfe's fight against cancer has become a shared experience for the kids who call themselves "Team Wolfe Pack". She hopes to be back in class next month.
It's an important year-end goal.
"Yes, I can't wait!"
On this day, as she leaves Corse Elementary to head home, every student is on hand to show her their support.
That's every single member of Dala Wolfe's Team Wolfe Pack.
"I'm going to cry at the end of the year," she admitted. "But I feel I need to finish the school year off with them."
Both Mrs. Wolfe and Keirah get $50 Visa cards and gift baskets from Blackhawk Bank and Trust plus a blanket and back pack from Western Illinois University-Quad Cities. Both are sponsors of this year's "My Favorite Teacher" program.