SC teacher receives $25,000 for National Award

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) -- A fourth-grade public school teacher in Greenville County has won a national teaching award and its $25,000 prize.

Education officials surprised Shasta Looper at A.J. Whittenberg Elementary in Greenville with the announcement Monday at a school assembly.

The Milken Educator Award is one of the most prestigious and lucrative recognitions teachers can receive. It recognizes exceptional teachers who inspire students and colleagues. This is the 26th year of the Milken Family Foundation awards.

Educators are recommended without their knowledge, and the selection process is conducted in secret. Winners can spend their prize money however they wish.

State Superintendent Mick Zais applauded Looper for the career milestone, saying effective teachers change lives.