BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — One local teacher received the surprise of a lifetime during a school assembly Wednesday.

Raisa Eady, a science teacher at Pinson Valley High School, was presented with the prestigious Milken Educator Award, which comes with a $25,000 cash prize. Eady was chosen for her innovative way of teaching students about genetics through their celebrity crushes.

As she accepted the award, Eady expressed overwhelming gratitude after being presented with the honor.

“I’m just extremely blessed and it’s just a testament that if you give your all every day in your career, you will be rewarded for it,” she said.

The Milken Educator Award is given to 40 teachers across the country each year.