A substitute teacher with the Catholic District School Board in Sudbury is trying to help a special needs classroom.

Elissa Zuliani is in an international competition to win a smart board for a classroom at St. Raphael's. A smart board is a tool for the classroom that's like a traditional white board combined with a computer.

Elissa Zuliani

Elissa Zuliani, a substitute teacher in Sudbury, said when she saw a pamphlet from the United Commercial Travellers advertising a contest, she decided to enter. Zuliani made a two-minute video with her students at St. Raphael's chool to enter the competition for a smart board. (Kate Rutherford/CBC)

Zuliani said her entry to the United Commercial Travellers contest consists of a two-minute video featuring the children and explaining the need for a smart board.

The children inspired her to embark on the project.

“It took a very short period of time to fall in love with these kids … to see what they had to offer,” she said.

“The lessons they taught me are invaluable … things like compassion, appreciation.”

Zuliani said she's now in the top-10 of contestants who are vying for a new smart board, and the winner will be determined by the number of votes.

Her submission is only one of two from Canada. The others are from the United States.

Zuliani said she doesn't mind that she's competing to win such an important classroom tool.

“I'm sure if we had the funding to put a smart board in every classroom, that it would be there, but decisions have to be made,” she said.

“I'm not discouraged, that's the way things work.”

The deadline to vote is March 14.