A Minneapolis math teacher has won The Milken National Educator Award, which is often called the "Oscars of teaching."
Martha Spriggs, who teaches seventh grade at Andersen United Community School in Minneapolis, was surprised by the announcement at a school assembly this morning which was attended by Minnesota first lady Mary Pawlenty and Education Commissioner Alice Seagren.
Spriggs appeared to be in a bit of shock as the news sunk in.
"I do want to say to all of you -- I love my job. I love coming to work every day because I get to see all of you. And you make my job great," said Spriggs.
The award comes with a cash prize of $25,000, and Spriggs said the money will come in handy since she has two children attending college.
Spriggs has done an outstanding job of teaching her math students, according to a statement from the Minneapolis school district. In her classroom, 82 percent of eighth-grade students reach the state's target scores. That's the highest percentage of any teacher at Andersen School, where 97 percent of students qualify for free and reduced-price lunch.
Spriggs is also active in mentoring students in a variety of enrichment activities outside of regular class time, according to the district.
She teaches summer enrichment programs, developed an after-school science program for girls and takes students to open houses at local high schools.
The Milken Family Foundation National Educator Awards were conceived by Lowell Milken to recognize the importance of outstanding educators and encourage talented young people to enter the teaching profession. They have been handed out to educators across the country since 1987.