When Abbie Oliver learned she was named this year’s Hometown Hero by Modern Woodmen of America, her initial response was, “No, I am not.”

“I do what many other educators do every day. Everyone goes home equally tired at the end of the day,” she said.

But the answer was clear from Nashville-area Modern Woodmen members who sent in nominations, said financial representative Kristine Skaarsgard, who gave Oliver the award.

People who use Modern Woodmen services, like life insurance or retirement planning, were able to nominate someone for the award.

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“Time and time again, she was given a nomination because of the Four Star School and the different things she has done to bring a lot of light to this school,” Skaarsard said.

“She’s got 320 students, so she’s impacting these little kids as well as the teachers here.”

The Indiana Department of Education named Sprunica a Four Star School in 2014 and 2015.

In 2014, Sprunica was one of 337 schools throughout the country to be named a national Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.

The Hometown Hero is someone who has made an impact in, is involved in and supports the community.

Skaarsgard said Oliver is always available, takes advantage of resources for her students and teachers and provides a positive environment at Sprunica.

“I love this school and community, so I enjoy it. It’s easy to love a group of people like this,” Oliver said.

As part of the award celebration, Skaarsgard brought Silly Safaris to Sprunica so students could spend an afternoon full of laughter and animals with their hometown hero.

Oliver held a red tail boa constrictor with the help of six of her students and Silly Safaris’ “Coyote Chris.”

Skaarsgard also arranged for catered lunch for Oliver’s staff; gave treat bags to every student, which included a jump rope; and Oliver will be able to donate $100 to her favorite charity.

“I got really excited. This is pretty neat for the school,” Oliver said.

The award will be given annually, Skaarsgard said.