(COLORADO SPRINGS) — Ent Credit Union surprised Madison Elementary kindergarten teacher, Wendy Latka, with a $6,500.00 check Tuesday morning, Oct. 25, based on a peer nomination by a friend.

To celebrate its 65th anniversary in business, Ent Credit Union has been choosing a teacher each month to receive a $6,500.00 award to show their appreciation to educators. The funds are a gift intended to be used however the recipient chooses.

Latka says she plans on “getting these amazing kids lots and lots of snacks for our classroom,” when asked what she will use her award for. She also mentioned the possibility of a vacation.

Latka was nominated by her friend, Carolyn Graham.

“I have never met someone as authentic, hard-working, and relationship oriented. I have seen her show up to work year after year with a smile,” Graham said, “During the years of (COVID-19,) she had my own daughter in her class, and watching her navigate the online learning and juggle the many constraints was impressive. She worked through that time with her students and supported her peers. Her compassion and huge heart have impressed upon my children a lifetime of positive memories in school, and we are forever grateful. She is an amazing teacher, and she believes in everyone.”

Latka serves on the Building Leadership Committee, sponsors Student Council to foster school-wide leadership and increase the culture of Madison Elementary, as well as volunteering at and supporting PTA events throughout the year.

If you know a teacher or educator you’d like to nominate, fill out this submission form. You can come back each month to nominate your favorite teacher until the end of the year.

The panelists that review nominations and decide who will receive the gift each month are former teachers that now work at Ent Credit Union.