It's almost as if Jacque Bolger was given a golden apple dipped in diamonds. If she felt an overwhelming sense of achievement as Illinois' teacher of the year, well, meeting the president of the United States on Wednesday increased that feeling twenty-fold.
"I don't think it can get any better than this. You're like, what's next after so many years of teaching. It's a dream, it is a dream come true," said Bolger.
Bolger was personally greeted by President Bush in the Oval Office where he thanked her for her dedication to the profession.
"He said we're very grateful, very respectful of our educators today, and we are very proud not only of you, but of all the educators you represent in your state," said Bolger.
At a rose garden ceremony where President Bush honored a Maryland teacher as the national teacher of the year, the president spoke of the impact these teachers have on our children.
"You help kindle young imaginations and inspire a love of learning. That's a pretty significant job description when you think about it. Are the teachers we honor here today excelling at that job?" said President Bush.
Bolger has spent the year speaking to groups all over the state. In August she'll head back to Hononegah armed with a new basket full of experiences to share with her students.
"We do not go into this field for accolades, we do not go into this field to win awards. You go in to serve the children to make them hopefully love what you teach, but to be singled out as the top educator of the state. Certainly it's quite an achievement," said Bolger.
Bolger had a picture taken with the president and the first lady. While in DC, she's been participating in various seminars and meetings. Bolger has been teaching at Hononegah for 24 years. She is the school's only French teacher.