TOPEKA (KSNT)- A national teacher appreciation award putting a spotlight on teachers across the country has made its way to the capital city.

Kristine Becker is a fourth grade teacher at Logan Elementary, and was surprised Tuesday morning when awarded one of the 2022 Milken Educator Awards and $25,000. The Milken Family Foundation was created in 1982 by Lowell and Michael Milken.

According to the Milken Family Foundation, award recipients do not apply for the award, but are rather scouted out by the foundation, who search for the best educators across the country.

“At the Milken Family Foundation, we don’t think educators get enough recognition,” said Stephanie Bishop, Milken Educator Awards Vice President. “We should say, ‘Thank you,’ like commissioner Watson said, and recognize our teachers more often.”

On top of the $25,000 check, Becker will attend a conference this summer in California, where she will join the other 2022 winners.

From 2019-2021 Becker helped her students nearly double their English Language Art scores, and more than double their math scores, according to the Milken Family Foundation. Becker was the only teacher in the state of Kansas to win the award this year.

“It makes me proud but is also just an honor, just an honor to have this award and have my school recognized, and hopefully kids and generations will want to become teachers,” Becker said.

School officials from across the state joined faculty, students and former Milken Educator Award recipients from Kansas at the ceremony for Becker.