Atlanta Spanish teacher surprised with special award

An Atlanta Spanish teacher was shocked when a school assembly turned out to be a surprise award ceremony!

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For eight years, Asia Karriem has taught Spanish at Burgess-Peterson Elementary school. On Friday, she was given the first ever Georgia Department of Education's World Languages Educator Award.

"Her students are highly educated, excited, and motivated to come to her class," a spokesperson for Atlanta Public Schools told FOX 5. "She has such energy and enthusiasm for language instruction and exudes cultural awareness in ways that incentivize participation and performance for all students."

When her name was called at the assembly, Karriem was surprised, hugging APS officials with a huge smile on her face.

Every year, Karriem raises money to take students on a Spring Break trip to a Spanish-speaking country.

"I was completely surprised and completely honored and speechless," Karriem said. "I had no words, and that's rare!"

She said that language has taken her so far in the world, that it inspired her to try do the same thing for Atlanta's children.

"It opened up the world to me. And it means the world to me to share the passion of what I do with my children - it's a gift every day," she said.

Karriem is the first ever APS foreign language teacher to win the award.