SARASOTA, Fla. — On Tuesday two Tampa Bay area teachers were surprised with a $25,000 Milken Educator Award.
Ashley Hernandez, a math teacher at Riverview High School in Sarasota, was awarded during a surprise school assembly on Tuesday.
"I’m still shaking. I was completely shocked," said Hernandez.
Along with the award, Hernandez received a $25,000 check to use however she wants.
“Teachers like Ashley Hernandez have a special gift for making students feel heard and valued,” said Stephanie Bishop, Milken Educator Awards Vice President. “Her positive attitude and compassion for the transitions and challenges that high schoolers face create an environment where students can excel in their academic journey and beyond.”
Westside Elementary kindergarten and first-grade teacher April Crisci of Spring Hill also received the $25,000 Milken Educator Award.
"The impressive abilities of the young students who leave her classroom speak for themselves: April’s influence is equipping them to spring forward in their education," said Bishop.
The two teachers are among only 60 educators nationwide to receive the award this school year.
On top of Tuesday's celebrations, both Crisci and Hernandez will join the national Milken Educator Network of more than 2,800 exceptional K-12 educators and leaders across the country. Honorees receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the Milken Educator Awards Forum in Los Angeles this June.