PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — 28-year teaching veteran Diane Ciccarone was named the 2015 Providence Teacher of the Year Wednesday morning.

One word to describe it: “Amazing! The honor is unbelievable. I never expected it,” Mrs. Ciccarone said.

The first grade teacher at Carl G. Lauro Elementary School was among dozens of teachers’ names submitted from across the city.

The announcement of these honors is often cloaked in subterfuge. Today, the school was in for an assembly supposedly about student achievement, when Superintendent Susan Lusi brought out the surprise announcement.

“Teachers are often unsung heroes,” Dr. Lusi said. “Every teacher has a story of lives of students that he or she has touched. …

“Diane is an enormously dedicated teacher… One parent said it was due to Diane that her son was reading and writing and loved coming to school every single day.”

Mrs. Ciccarone’s colleagues said she brings out the best in students and fellow teachers.

But she remains humble. “I’ve never called myself a great teacher,” she said. “I think the secret to having my kids be successful is taking each kid where they are and bringing them to where they need to go.”

“A student who has a wonderful teacher like Diane, especially in first grade, is on a pathway to go forward and achieve,” said Dr. Lusi.

Mrs. Ciccarone will go on to represent Providence in the statewide selection of Rhode Island’s Teacher of the Year. And whoever wins that will represent Rhode Island in the national competition.