Dexter Chaney had no idea that the surprise assembly held at Ryerson Elementary was in his honor. He became visibly emotional when he was announced as the recipient of the Milken Educator Award during the event at the East Garfield Park school.
"Just to be recognized nationally, that doesn't happen every day; for some teachers, it doesn't happen in a lifetime, so I'm really humbled," said Chaney.
The award carries a $25,000 prize.
Jane Foley, the senior vice president at the Milken foundation, said Chaney was chosen because of his dedication to his students and his commitment to their academic performance.