PALM BAY, Fla. — Brevard County A+ Teacher Anna Colby works hard to put her students on the fast track of becoming lifelong learners. 

What You Need To Know

  • Anna Colby teaches at Riviera Elementary School in Palm Bay

  • She teaches third graders, but is a race car driver on the weekends

  • Click here to Nominate an A+ Teacher

​Things move quickly in Colby's class. She's not just a third-grade teacher at Riviera Elementary School in Palm Bay, she's also a race car driver. In the racing community she's known as Anna Schimenti, which is her maiden name.

With some racing memorabilia in her classroom, she said her students love to ask about it.

"What I do, what my car looks like. how fast I go — that's a big question," she said.

Those questions, and how she got into racing in the first place, are ones she has no problem answering.

"So, I started when I was 16 with my dad, and we do it on the weekends," she said.

She said sharing her passion with her students is a great way to connect with them. 

"With classroom management and just building relationships with students, which I love to do — I was able to allow them to know me outside of just school, and be able to see that I'm a person just like they are," Colby said, noting the communication goes both ways.

"Every day, we share something we're thankful for, so I get to learn more about them," she added.

Colby said it's important to build up students' confidence, "and also encourage them that they could do that — that they can have dreams that are far beyond anything that they have ever thought."