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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Students and staff at Blue Valley Northwest High School gathered Monday to surprise a teacher with a big honor.

Bill Smithyman was named the recipient of the Milken Educator Award.

According to those who presented the award, Smithyman has dedicated himself to becoming a better teacher and improving his students lives.

” I’m just beside myself… there are many, many, many more deserving at this school alone, I assure you,” Smithyman said.

The Milken award is a $25,000 grant to be used however the recipient sees fit.