OVIEDO, Fla. — Instantly rewarding! That's how Orange County A+ Teacher Michael Moreno describes his very first day in the classroom, teaching his students and seeing them get it. 

Moreno said his commitment to the teaching profession is deeply personal. 

Repetition is the key to remembering in Moreno's classroom at Alpine Academy in Oviedo. He was nominated due to his drive and deep commitment to students at the school.

Valerie Lacey is the parent who nominated Moreno. She could barely contain herself composure when explaining to Spectrum News 13 what he's done for her son. Fighting back tears she said, "Alpine is good about finding out what the child needs and giving them the extra time they need and placing that child with the right teacher."    

The right teacher for her son is the one the kids call "Mr. Mike."

Lacey's son Will has autism, severe anxiety and a panic disorder stemming from the pressure he puts on himself to perform academically.

"He gives the kids the respect and dignity we all deserve and my child is actually thriving this year," Lacey says.

For Moreno this is deeply personal because he says he remembers his own struggles as a student.

"And I had teachers that were not able to work with me in those subjects and it feels good for me to just be able to get them through difficult subjects and give them a sense of empowerment," he said.

Enpowerment to find their voices. Moreno teaches his students how to work their emotions when they get angry, frustrated or sad. He encourages them to reach out for help.

"He just cares about these kids. He has a gift to zone in on what their gifts are, their strengths," Lacey said.