Lisa Bell, a 35-year-old third grade teacher at Downtown Elementary School, was named this morning as the winner of the Milken Family Foundation Educator Award, which comes with a check for $25,000.
Bell, a Columbus State University graduate, is the only teacher in Georgia to receive the award for 2012.
She was presented the award at a school assembly, which was attended by Georgia Department of Education Superintendent John Barge and Muscogee County School District Interim Superintendent John Phillips Jr.
Bell had no idea she had been nominated for the award.
"I am in total shock," she said.
Part of the money will go to pay off school loans, she said.