Spotsylvania (WFVA) -- Spotsylvania teacher Tara Hefner finds out tonight if she's the next Virginia Teacher of the Year. The second grade teacher at Courtland Elementary is one of eight finalists. She'll interview with a panel Friday morning and then wait. The announcement comes tonight at a banquet. Hefner says her students are excited. "I already feel I've won," she said, "because to them I am the teacher of the year. Each and every day I come into the classroom and they see me as the best teacher in their life." Hefner said she refers to her class as the "Students of the Year." If Hefner wins tonight she'd join Debi Goforth as a state teacher of the year coming from Courtland Elementary. Hefner grew up in Spotsylvania and was a student at Courtland Elementary. Principal Sherri Steele was Mrs. Hefner's fourth grade teacher. "She has a genuine spirit to really connect with her students and her families," Steele said.