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OWENSBORO, Ky. (AP) -- The only teacher in Kentucky to be awarded a Milken Award in 2012 says he "loves" working with children.
Cravens Elementary School teacher Ryan Williams was one of 40 people across the nation to receive the honor, which "rewards exceptional educators" with a $25,000 gift.
Williams, a native of Henderson, began teaching in Owensboro Public Schools after graduating in 1999 from Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green. He taught first grade for 11 years, then moved to third grade. Currently, he is on temporary assignment as curriculum facilitator at Estes Elementary School.
Jane Foley, senior vice president for the Milken Educator Awards, told the Messenger-Inquirer that the organization looks for "unsung heroes" of the profession.
Williams says he became a teacher because he "wanted to make a difference."