LAS CRUCES, New Mexico -- Sonoma elementary fourth-grade educator Christopher Nuñez has won the Milken Educator Award, along with a $25,000 prize.
The awards recognize up to 40 elementary school educators who go above and beyond in the 2022-23 school year.
Nuñez has been teaching for over 14 years. Despite praise from his peers, he was in disbelief as his name was announced for the $25,000 award.
Nuñez's creative student engagement activities have brought students from 70% to 100% proficiency on the iReady Math assessment.
"I'm just one educator out of so many in here in New Mexico and, of course, around the nation as well. Hopefully, you know, this inspires even some of the kids that were here and see me and see the other educators here at Sonoma Elementary and hopefully, one day they can be in my shoes, but it's just so surreal, I mean, it's just crazy to have this feeling. It's wow, haha"
Nuñez told ABC-7 he plans to spoil his staff and use this award to pay it forward to those who have helped him.