A Memphis teacher was surprised Thursday with the award of a lifetime, considered the Oscars of teaching.
The teacher at John P. Freeman Optional School had no idea she would be the highlight of a school assembly. 4th grade educator Erica Stephens was recognized for her exceptional work, and as a model for the state and nation.
The 12-year veteran received the $25,000 Milken Educator Award, which recognizes teaching excellence. Stephens lives by the belief that teachers should be equally respected as doctors, lawyers, and engineers.
She is among up to 40 honorees nationwide, and the second and final Tennessee recipient of the award for the 2018-19 season.