EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — An East Providence teacher received a pleasant surprise Wednesday morning.

Emily Rendine, a third-grade teacher at Hennessey Elementary School, was surprised with a $25,000 Milken Educator Award presented by the Milken Family Foundation.

“Emily’s creativity in engaging her students, fostering impressive student growth, and leading professional development on a larger scale are just some of the many ways she exemplifies a Milken Educator,” said Dr. Jane Foley, senior vice president of the Milken Educator Awards and a 1994 Indiana Milken Educator.

The award was presented to Rendine during a schoolwide assembly.

“So happy, shocked … this is crazy. It’s like the best moment of my life,” Rendine said. “I just love my students. I try to go above and beyond for them with after-school programs, dancing, tutoring, and I created a community garden with the kids so I try to make learning special and magical for the kids.”

The foundation says it will honor up to 40 elementary teachers during the school year.