By Associated Press - Wednesday, October 5, 2016

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A fifth-grade teacher in Philadelphia has won a $25,000 national award honoring outstanding educators.

The Milken Educator Award was presented to Andrew Jackson Elementary School teacher Jayda Pugliese at an assembly Wednesday.

State Education Secretary Pedro Rivera joined Lowell Milken and city and school district officials to surprise Pugliese with the prize in South Philadelphia. She sobbed when her name was announced, and her cheering students mobbed her and hugged her, pumping their fists in the air.

The award was created by the Milken Family Foundation, founded by former Wall Street financier Michael Milken and his brother Lowell.

Lowell Milken says Pugliese “is a tenacious and innovative leader” who helps kids excel.

She’s the first of 35 educators to be honored by the Milken Family Foundation this year.

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