Teachers may not always be fully appreciated for their contributions, but a Lauderdale County teacher was honored in a bog way Tuesday.
What Mandy Goldman of Northeast Lauderdale Elementary School thought was an assembly to welcome state Superintendent Dr. Henry Johnson turned into something much more.
As students and faculty gathered to honor the superintendent, Goldman discovered that Johnson was there to honor her.
Goldman, who teaches gifted students, was awarded the Milken Family Foundation Award and the $25,000 prize that goes with it.
"I'm shocked! I was shocked!" exclaimed Goldman.
"Mr. Little kept this a big secret from me," added Northeast Elementary Principal Kathy Wilson, referring to county superintendent, David Little.
Goldman is one of only two people in Mississippi chosen for the honor. For the past 15 years, the non-profit Milken Family Foundation has bestowed awards annually to at least 100 deserving teachers nationwide.
"I think it's an outstanding show for support of education," said Dr. Johnson.
Those who know Goldman best say she deserved to get this recognition.
"If a child needs something, she's going to make sure it's taken care of," said Wilson. "If it's a staff member's need or if it's the whole school's need."
An example is in the main hall of the school. Figurines and painted desks there were done by Goldman and her students.
What are her plans for the money?
"I don't know. It just has not quite all seeped in my body yet. So, I don't know what I'm going to do with it," Goldman said.
Well, if she doesn't, her students say they have some ideas.
Amy Rogers of Purvis Elementary School received the other Milken Award presented Tuesday. She and Goldman will be flown next spring to the group's annual conference.