CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The 2016 West Virginia Teacher of the Year says she’s “the voice” of educators statewide.

“Our words our power. What we speak does make a difference,” said Logan High School Spanish teacher Andrea Santos of her message.

The state Department of Education made the announcement in Sept. 2015. Santos was awarded $2,500 and granted one year to travel to state and national conferences as the Teacher of the Year representative.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin recognized Santos Thursday during a press conference at the state Capitol.

“This is quite an honor,” she said on Thursday’s MetroNews “Talkline.” “I know that I may not be the absolute greatest teacher in the state, but I feel that I am the voice.”

Santos, who has taught for 22 years, said her job is about believing in the person she is and inspiring others to do the same.

“It’s about the idea that I don’t just teach my students, but I teach them how to teach others around them,” she said.

The recognition also comes with keys to a brand new car. She was provided with a 2016 Toyota Camry.