Valley teacher given $25,000 award

 A Phoenix teacher went to school Thursday, thinking it was going to be just a regular day. But then there was an unannounced assembly.

At that assembly, she was surprised with a $25,000 check for her hard work.

Teacher Shalini Sharma shared an emotional moment with her students, crying tears of joy after receiving an unexpected teaching award.

"I never expected that," said Sharma.

Sharma teaches at Academia Del Pueblo in south Phoenix. During a school assembly this morning, the co-founder of the Milken Family Foundation, which recognizes excellence in teaching, made the big announcement.

"The recipient of the Milken Educator Award is Shalini Sharma," said the co-founder of the Milken Family Foundation.

"We have so many wonderful teachers in our school, and more experienced, and I have learned from them, so I wasn't expecting my name," said Sharma.

Mrs. Sharma was picked from teachers all over the state for her hard work and dedication.

"I believe that everyone's life can be changed, education is the only source that can really change a life, there are kids that come up to us and look to us for the change in their lives," she said.

Sharma plans to use the $25,000 to obtain her masters degree, and continue to give back to her students and community.

"I wake up every morning because I'm going to change somebody's life today," said Sharma.
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