A San Benito teacher was awarded $25,000 for being an exemplary educator on Friday.

Cash Elementary writing teacher Krystal Contreras was chosen by the Milken Educator Awards in a surprise assembly.

She’s been teaching for 15 years and says the award comes as a shock.

“I don’t know how I deserve this, all the staff and teachers here are phenomenal,” said Contreras. “I do what I do because of them. I want to do what they’re doing in their classes, so my kids can experience that. I’m just at a loss for words.”

Contreras will join the Award’s Educator Network and travel to Austin to meet with state officials.