Jackie Bonilla knew there would be a special presentation at Clover Avenue Elementary in West Los Angeles on Friday morning.
She didn't know it would be for her.
The second-grade teacher was surprised by the announcement of the Milken Educator Award, an honor given to 40 teachers nationwide this year. Each recipient gets a $25,000 prize, no strings attached.
The honor is given by the Milken Family Foundation, which created the award in 1987 to motivate gifted teachers in a field in which financial gifts are rare.
Bonilla, who was awarded the prize by foundation Chairman Lowell Milken at an assembly also attended by L.A. Unified Supt. John Deasy and State Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, is a Cal Poly San Luis Obispo graduate. She was the only California teacher so recognized this year.
Bonilla thought the event she would be attending was organized to recognize her school's new status as a National Blue Ribbon School. Then Milken took the microphone and asked the assembled students, "Have you seen a teacher get an A?" He then asked her to rise.