DANBURY, Conn. (WTNH) – This is not your average science class. The students are not only learning about the science of light, but they’re also learning about basic English too.

Most of the students have only been in Connecticut for a year or less, but they say their teacher, Ms. Lopes, has them feeling confident.

“Ms. Lopes is the best teacher I can remember because she helps me to speak English and resolve questions,” said Joaque Araujo.

Participating and learning, Ms. Lopes’ caring nature is why her colleagues selected her, the Bilingual Teacher of Rogers Park Middle School, as the district’s Teacher of the Year.

“When I was nominated from our school, I was in shock,” said Emily Lopes, Danbury Teacher of the Year. “I don’t see myself doing anything extraordinary.”

She’s humble, but making a big difference.

“She says in English the words, so I can understand,” said Jennifer Montero, a student.

“She’s the epitome of a professional teacher,” said Kristy Zaleta, Principal of Rogers Park Middle School. “She’s also one of the most humble people you are ever going to meet. This is driving her nuts that everyone is paying attention to her. She never feels worthy of the attention, but 75 percent of the staff said, ‘yeah, you are.’”

She is giving students the chance to succeed in America by not letting language hold them back.