The Virginia Department of Education named Fairfax County’s Katie Blomquist as the state’s history teacher of the year.

A Sunrise Valley elementary fourth-grade teacher who specializes in Virginia history, Blomquist’s award includes $1,000 and new social studies materials for her classroom. She’s been at Sunrise Valley since 2006, and last year earned social studies teacher of the year award from the Virginia Council.

Blomquist beat 15 other finalists for the award and is now in the running for a national history teacher of the year award, which will be announced in several months.

She keeps historical artifacts around her classroom and creates hands-on lessons to teach her students about the past.

Earlier this year, Blomquist demonstrated crucial American victories of the Revolutionary War by reenacting the battles at Yorktown and Great Bridge with neon-colored marshmallow Peeps.