A Spanish instructor at a Dallas ISD middle school won $25,000 Thursday for being one of the best teachers in the country.
Susan Moreno works in the dual-language and International Baccalaureate program at J.L. Long Middle School. She and the rest of the school were packed into the auditorium for what they thought was a regular assembly. Instead, it was a surprise for the school's winner of the Milken Educator Award.
"It was a shock and all of a sudden my students around me they're like, 'Miss you're going to get it' and I said 'No, no, it's ok.' I did not even see this coming," Moreno said. "I didn't know there was a foundation like this out there, that just you know surprises teachers. Everybody always wishes this would happen to them, especially as an educator because we're always there for our students, and we know we give 110% for them. ... but to be able to actually receive it is a whole other world."
The Milken Family Foundation has been handing out these prizes for three decades. Moreno was this year's only Milken winner in Texas. She figured she would spend some of the award on her student loans — then admitted she'd likely put a lot of it back into her classroom.