OCALA, Fla. — Katie Weston is a Marion County A+ Teacher who says it's never too early for her middle school students to be exposed to the endless possibilities life has to offer. It's a sweet lesson she too learned early on.

What You Need To Know

  • Katie Weston teaches at Liberty Middle School in Ocala

  • Liberty Middle one of 1st in district to implement "AVID" program

  • Discover more A+ Teachers here

Weston was nominated as an A+ Teacher for her dedication to her students at Liberty Middle School in Ocala. She says it's one of the first schools in the Marion County School District to implement a nationally recognized program called AVID — Advancement via Individual Determination.

"We teach organization, study skills, to start getting them into good habits,” Weston said.

She knows the importance of being prepared early on. Her father was her inspiration. He was also a teacher.

"So at a young age I used to go to his classroom and play school, and I just really enjoyed it." Weston explained.

She wasn't exactly sure of her career choice while she was college, but something changed that.

"I ended up being a substitute teacher and really enjoyed it. I just feel really lucky that I ended up in a profession that I love,” she explained.

Weston wants to make sure her students discover their passion too.

She said, "We go on field trips. We have guest speakers come and share the different options that students may have never considered."

Her students seem to be soaking it all in too.

"Every day can kind of look different, which is why I think the students enjoy it so much. But I miss my students. I miss being able to see them,” Weston said.