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Fort Wayne Teacher wins Big

A New Tech teacher was shocked to learn she was the only educator in Indiana to win the national Milken Educator Award – dubbed the "Oscar of Teaching."

A New Tech teacher was shocked to learn she was the only educator in Indiana to win the national Milken Educator Award – dubbed the "Oscar of Teaching."

Ginger Giessler accepted the award Thursday in front of the student body and fellow staff members at Wayne High School.

Included in the prestigious recognition was a $25,000 cash award, which was given to Giessler to spend "any way she chooses," said Jane Foley, senior vice president of the Milken Family Foundation in Santa Monica, Calif.

"They are not nominated. We seek them out," Foley said.

Giessler wiped away tears as she told students and co-workers that the award was for all of them.

"I love you," she shouted amid thunderous applause.

About 40 educators from across the United States are chosen each year for the Milken Educator Award, Foley said.

After the convocation, dozens of Giessler's students stormed the auditorium floor, encircling their beloved teacher in a group hug.

For more on this story, see Friday's print edition or visit Journal Gazette.