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Annapolis Educator Wins 'Academy Award' Of Teaching, $25,000

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- It's often called the "Academy Award of teaching," and Wednesday morning, Annapolis High School looked like the Oscars.

Students and teachers thought they were gathered for a school wellness award assembly. Instead, Governor Larry Hogan, seated with state education officials, had an announcement.

"The best teacher in America that we're recognizing today is your very own Allison Felton," Gov. Hogan announced.

Felton, a math teacher sitting in the audience, burst into tears. She was unexpectedly named Maryland's Milken Educator of the Year. It's a national accolade, with a $25,000 prize that's granted to promising but accomplished young teachers.

Hogan also presented a citation commemorating the day's date.

Through tears, Felton joked to the crowd, "This is beyond any of my expectations for today. I'm glad I dressed nice! I actually tried a little bit."

Felton's honest, candid approach to algebra and calculus is what caught the eye of the Milken Family Foundation.

Out of 44 Milken Educator Awards handed out nationwide every year, she's the only Maryland teacher receiving the award.

"How she got people that felt intimidated with math to love math was an unusual quality. And seeing the results of her students year after year and what she's been able to achieve," said Mike Milken, with the Milken Family Foundation.

For six years, she's encouraged kids to crunch numbers with confidence. Now, Felton is part of an amazing group of stand-out teachers.

"I like to think of myself as a great teacher. I never knew that other people thought of me as one, also. So it's a great honor," Felton told WJZ. "I love this place."

A career-changing honor and the shock of a lifetime for both teacher and Annapolis High School.

Felton says she has no plans to leave Annapolis High School, and can't wait to tell her family in Pittsburgh about the award.

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