RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Virginia’s 2016 teacher of the year is a fifth-grade educator in Salem. Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Natalie DiFusco-Funk’s selection Monday night. The governor called her “the best of the best.” DiFusco-Funk is a 12-year classroom veteran who teaches at West Salem Elementary School. She earned her master’s in education at Boston College. Salem’s school superintendent, H. Alan Seibert, called DiFusco-Funk a “consummate professional” who makes a positive difference for young children. As for the teacher of the year, DiFusco-Funk says teaching has been a “dream come true.” She was chosen among eight regional candidates. They were honored with a reception at the Executive Mansion in Richmond.