NORTH BEND, (Neb). (KMTV) — It was the surprise of a lifetime for fifth grade teacher Rebecca Streff.
"When they said my name out in the crowd I wanted to turn around to see if there was another Rebecca in the crowd," she said. I'm just deeply humbled with this."
Streff received the $25,000 Milken Educator Award on Monday. She's one of 33 honorees across the country and the only here in Nebraska to recieve the honor this year.
"We have such an amazing staff here that I though it could be any one of these teachers that I work with because they are amazing and outstanding at what they do," Streff said.
"I've known Mrs. Streff for four years now, and to watch her work in the classroom ... the ideas that she comes up with and how [she] connects different cross-curricular activities, [like] science along with the reading activities and social studies, and bringing learning to light is incredible," Principal Tessie Beaver said.
Streff not only teaches students, but also mentors first-year teachers. She tells us she chose this profession because of her former teachers who have left a lasting impact on here life.
"I had some really awesome 2nd and 3rd grade teachers that they just did hands-on learning," Streff said. They made learning fun, they made me feel like I could learn anything and be anything."
Streff now joins a family of Milken honorees who'll go on to represent their school for years to come.