WASHINGTON (CBS4)  – Before leaving Washington Tuesday morning and eventually coming to Boulder, President Obama honored top teachers, including one from Colorado.

Kristin Donley teaches science at Monarch High School in Louisville. She was honored because she created a peer mentoring program for elementary and middle school students.

The president says teachers like Donley make a big difference.

“These are the kinds of teachers that change lives forever. I wouldn’t be here today if it were not for teachers like these who challenged me and pushed me and put up with me and inspired me and set me straight when they had to,” the president said.

A seventh-grade English teacher from Southern California was selected as the national Teacher of the Year.