Roanoke County teacher wins Milken Educator Award

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VINTON, Va. (WDBJ7) The Milken Educator Award is a rare honor. In fact, it’s considered the Oscars of teaching.

So it was a surprise to teachers at W.E. Cundiff Elementary School when a normal school assembly turned out to be anything but.

After the Pledge of Allegiance and an introduction to many school officials in attendance, Jane Foley from the Milken Family Foundation started speaking.

That's when it was revealed one of the teachers in the room would win the Milken Educator Award.

After some suspense on what the award included, Foley finally made the announcement.

Foley shouted, ”The Milken Educator Award goes to Lindsay Murray!”

As Murray walked up, you could there was just one word to describe what she thought..

“I was just extremely shocked, shocked to be up there, shocked to be recognized, shocked by the whole thing,” Murray said.

But it's not a shock to her students.

“She does STEM projects which I like better than most things. In math you don't usually think of hands on, she make it hands on,” her fourth grade student Becca Radford said.

Murray had no idea she would receive this award, and that's because these teachers are chosen through state agencies who collect information on educators confidentially all year.

“We look at all of the recommendations, and we look at our criteria and we determine who we believe will represent the top 1 percent of the teaching profession out of 3 millions teachers, Lindsay Murray is one of them,” Foley said.

“It's very humbling, it's very exciting and so I'm really honored to be a part of this group,” Murray said.

Murray will attend a Milken Educator Forum in New Orleans and received $25,000 to use however she wants.

“I'm excited, now she can have a good vacation trip!,” Radford said.

The Milken Educator Awards has given more than $68 million to teacher across the country and more than $1 million to teacher right here in Virginia.

Murray says she's not sure what she's going to do with her award money.