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Help a Fairfield Teacher Get on 'Live! With Kelly'

FAIRFIELD, Conn. — Fairfield’s Kristin Golia went above and beyond her job description when one of her students was stricken with cancer two years ago. Now she’s in the running to receive national recognition for her work. Golia is one of 12 finalists for the “Live! With Kelly” 2012 Top Teacher award.

Fairfield mom Jessica Gerber nominated Golia for the honor. When Gerber’s son, Teddy, was a third-grader at Osborn Hill School , he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. He missed more than 100 days of school while receiving treatment for the disease.

But while Teddy was in the hospital, Golia paid him frequent visits. She brought books to read, homework assignments to do, and even video messages from his classmates. With Golia's help, Teddy managed to finish the third grade that spring.

“She was calm, caring, thoughtful and strong, and even though she was incredibly upset to see Teddy suffer, she never let him see it, and instead greeted him with a smile every day she saw him,” Gerber wrote in her nomination letter.

Teddy did not make it to fourth grade. His cancer came back aggressively that summer, and he died in August 2010. Two-and-a-half weeks later, his younger sister, Gillian, started third grade at Osborn Hill with Golia.

“Socially and academically, Gillian had a wonderful year, thanks in great part to Kristin's guidance and support. She always seemed to know the right thing to say and do — when to challenge Gillian and when to give her some leeway,” Gerber wrote.

Golia is one of 12 teachers in the running in the nationwide contest, sponsored by the television show “Live! With Kelly,” hosted by Kelly Ripa. The five top winners will be featured on the show during Top Teacher Week in mid-May. You can help Golia win by voting for her on the show’s website . Voting closes Monday.

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