SLAUGHTER, La. (BRPROUD) – The Milken Educator Award recognizes teaching excellence publicly not only to inspire educators but also students and entire communities about the importance of joining the teaching profession.

“Greatness in education should be recognized too,” said Lowell Milken, the founder of the Milken Educator Award.

Slaughter Elementary in East Feliciana Parish received a surprise ceremony to recognize a very special teacher.

Milken continued by stating, “They’re changing young people’s lives and educators like Laura Laiche and the other talented educators here deserve to be recognized.”

The Milken Award winner represents leadership and excellence in teaching the youth. They receive $25,000 that they can spend however they want. This year’s winner, Laura Laiche, has been teaching third-grade reading and writing for 10 years. She says this is one of the biggest achievements she’s ever accomplished.  

“I am so grateful for this, thank you,” said Laiche.

“It feels wonderful to be acknowledged because it just puts into all of that hard work that you have done. It solidifies in my head that I am doing a good job,” she added.

Laiche says that she could have not done this without the kids she teaches every day. She has no direct plans for the money yet but she will pay it forward for the school and herself.

“Every day we get up, we come and educate them. We have rough days and we have wonderful days and that is what makes it totally worth it. So, I couldn’t do it without all these little smiling faces in this room,” said Laiche.

The Teacher Oscars are still on tour and might be headed to a school near you.