BARBOURSVILLE, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A kindergarten teacher at the Village of Barboursville Elementary School got the shock of her life Thursday morning.
Whitney Stead is currently on maternity leave after giving birth to twins. Thursday, she came back to school for an assembly not knowing she would be honored and leave the school with a check for $25,000 from the Milken Foundation.
The Milken National Educator Award goes to teachers the foundation deems excellent. Teachers do not apply. Educators are recommended, without their knowledge, to the organization by a blue-ribbon panel appointed by the state board of education.
Stead was visibly shaking and astonished as her name was called. She says there are so many great educators in her school she was wondering which one of her colleagues it would go to.
At one point Stead thought the award would go to her mother who is also a kindergarten teacher at VOBE.
"When little boys and girls grow up they want to be rock stars, I wanted to be my mom!" Stead told the crowd of students and staff members.
The money can be used for anything that Stead wishes. She says it's a true blessing for her family.
She is the only teacher in the state to receive the award this year. The network of award-winning educators consists of 2,500 teachers who have worked together and received the award since 1985.