Teacher of the Year gets new car

Melissa Wilks danced excitedly as she was presented the keys to her new car.

"I never get surprises!" she said, climbing into the driver's seat. "It's beautiful."

Rob Doll presented Wilks, the Muscogee County School District's 2008 Teacher of the Year, with a new 2009 Nissan Altima this morning at Wynnton Arts Academy, where she teaches drama to kids in pre-k through fifth grade.

Winners traditionally get a new car from Bill Heard Chevrolet to drive for a year, but Wilks' car was taken back after the dealership went under in September.

"Thank you Mr. Doll!" she said, hugging him and several of the second-grade students who came out to help surprise her.

Doll said he offered to donate the car after hearing Wilks had had to give up the car.

Wilks said she assumed she wouldn't get another car and was pleasantly surprised to find a new one parked out in front of the school Friday morning.

"They called me up to the office. I assumed they needed something," she said. "I'm ecstatic and surprised -- I'm just super excited."