Gifted educator Tracy Spillman, 45, is among the Washington, D.C.-area educators who won Washington Post cash prizes for making a difference in their students' lives. Spillman crafts lessons that inspire students to explore: "The lessons I have taken away from experiencing Mrs. Spillman's dedication are lessons more important than algebra or grammar," wrote former student Tim Fisher. "They can only be learned by watching someone with a large heart and tremendous dedication expend great effort and ask for nothing in return."

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