Hermon teacher gets surprise of a lifetime

Published: Nov. 1, 2022 at 6:12 PM EDT
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HERMON, Maine (WABI) - Students at the Patricia A Duran School in Hermon gathered Tuesday morning for what they thought would be a normal safety assembly.

What they ended up witnessing was the surprise of a lifetime.

Fourth grade teacher Sarah Collins was in awe to learn that she was named as a Milken Award Recipient.

“I was sitting there like, are they sure that they said my name? I’m like, I got the Milken award? I just was in disbelief and put my head down and I can see in here everybody kind of looking at me and I thought no way. There’s no way but I am hugely honored that it was me,” Collins said.

“What I think is most special about Sarah is her ability to connect with our kids,” said Principal Melissa Davis.

That ability to connect with her students is one of the many reasons Sarah is being recognized through this nationwide award.

An award that also comes with a $25,000 check.

The school knew she had won the award weeks ago.

Keeping this a secret was a bit of an undertaking for those involved.

“When you find out that someone has won something as big as this type of award, it’s really hard to not want to tell everybody because you’re just so excited,” Davis added.

Sarah says the never could have believed the award was for her.

“Wow, I wonder who could be getting it for school? I am happy for anyone who gets it. Like I’ve said, there’s so many amazing teachers at the school that I think are truly deserving of this so I had no idea,” Collins said.

Her love of teaching comes from watching her mother as an educator growing up.

“I know that she made a difference in the schools that she was at. And I just saw that growing up and I always loved helping other kids. So I thought that was a possibility to go into and it just it’s always felt right since college on and it’s the place I want to be,” said Collins.

Sarah will look to continue making a difference in the lives of her students.

But from this moment forward will do so as a Milken Educator.