JASPER, TN (WRCB) -  Jasper Middle School fifth grade teacher Bobby McCulley was awarded the Tennessee Education Association's Distinguished Educator Award. He is one of only six teachers to be recognized across the state.

McCulley, a former social worker, got into teaching a little later than most, at the age of 30. Eight years later, he wishes he had started sooner.

McCulley says he's especially proud to be making a difference at Jasper Middle, which is where he attended middle school. He says he feels he should share the award with the entire faculty because they work as a team.  He hasn't ruled out a future in school administration, but says for now, he's content to continue his classroom work, "because that's where I'm needed, and I love it so much."