TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)__Educators often provide hours of under-appreciated work within our schools, but one local fine arts teacher was thanked in a big way.
The Milken Educator awards has been recognizing educators nationwide since 1987.
This year Washburn Rural High School fine arts teacher Brad LeDuc is the lone Kansas educator honored with the award, and its $25,000 prize.
Nearly 2000 students and staff assembled in the Washburn Rural High School gymnasium this morning for what began as a shelter drill.
Instead, Governor Brownback and state school board members arrived for a surprise celebration.
Brad LeDuc was chosen as one of forty recipients across the country for the Milken Educator Award. He was taken back by the honor and found a way to use his personal moment as a teaching point.
The Fort Hays State Alum said, "I just feel inadequate at what I do and it's like I could do such a better job and that's what kind of keeps you driving forward and keeps you motivated. I would hope to pass that on to any student that would ever doubt themself. I doubt myself all the time.
For LeDuc's students, there was no one more deserving. Allison Galvin said, "If i could think of one teacher, it would definitely be LeDuc because he is so inspirational." Madeline Smith added, "He connects to students in such a positive way that it is hard not to like him."
Candidates of the Milken Educator Award are confidentially selected by a blue ribbon panel chosen by each state's department of education.
As for his first purchas with the $25,000? He says he will buy the teaching staff chinese food Friday for lunch.