OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT)– The secret is out at Newton Parish Elementary School, and it came with a big check. Third grade teacher Charlotte Buskill was recognized with a $25,000 Kentucky Milken Educator Award during a special school assembly.

Buskill thought the assembly was about test scores, but it ended up being a celebration for her.

“I am so overwhelmed, I mean this is such an honor,” she says.

Buskill comes from a long line educators, that goes back for generations.

“My mom was a teacher, and my great grandma was a teacher. And you know this is huge for them because I feel like they are a part of my own education story. They are going to be excited to celebrate with me,” she says.

Buskill is among 40 elementary educators across the nation who will receive the Milken Educator Award this year.

“It’s so big, we call it The Oscars of teaching,” says Dr. Jane Foley, Vice President of the Milken Educator Awards.

Dr. Foley traveled two thousand miles to present the award in person. She says there are many traits that helped Buskill stand out.

“She transforms her classroom into a whole environment for the first semester. Then she asks students how they want to transform it for second semester. She as an afternoon STEM Club. We believe that she represents the top one percent of the teaching profession of the entire country,” she says.

The $25,000 check is unrestricted, meaning Buskill can use it however she likes.

“It is a huge blessing for my husband and I. We are both educators,” she says.