A history teacher at C.E. Byrd High School got a very big surprise this morning.

John Lary II was chosen to receive a $25,000 Milken Educator Award. Milken Family Foundation Chairman and Co-founder Lowell Milken made the announcement during a school assembly in front of all the students, staff, education leaders and public officials.

Lary is said to stand out at Byrd by biking to school each day, sporting dress slacks and his signature bowtie, before carrying his bike upstairs to his second-floor classroom.

"As an exemplary teacher of history, John Lary is preparing his students to become responsible citizens in an ever-changing world and for them to understand, to question and to defend our democratic way of life and change the world for the better," Milken said. "Through his expertise in making the past relevant in our lives today, John's students learn to take ownership over their responsibility for the future."

Lary told me that never in a million years did he ever think he'd be chosen for such an honor.

"Maybe 20 years from now, when I've had that kind of experience teaching, but certainly not at this point in my career," he said. "I'm so proud and so priviledged to have this kind of recognition."

Lary teaches AP European History and has taught AP U.S. History in the past. This is his ninth year teaching, with six of those years being at C.E. Byrd.

"I've had the incredible priviledge of teaching such wonderful students," Lary said. "They're so motivated and I'm able to maybe push them that extra step. But they obviously are showing that what I'm doing is working."

Take a look at video of his reaction:

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