Diana Lopez, a BASIS San Antonio Primary Medical Center third-grade teacher, received the Milken Educator Award and a $25,000 cash prize Feb. 10 on campus.

Jane Foley, Milken Educator Awards senior vice president, was joined by Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath to present Lopez with the honor, a news release said.

Lopez earned a bachelor’s degree in English and philosophy and a master’s degree in childhood education, all from St. John’s University, the release said.

Foley, a 1994 Indiana Milken educator, said through high expectations and creativity in the classroom, Lopez prioritizes students’ needs and encourages them to realize their maximum potential.

“I am pleased to welcome Diana to our vast and talented nationwide network of Milken Educators and look forward to the contributions she will bring furthering her development in the profession,” Foley said in a statement.

Created by Lowell Milken, the Milken Educator Awards inspire and uplift with the unique stories of educators making a profound difference for students, colleagues and communities, the release said. The specific states and schools on this year’s winners’ list remain a closely guarded secret until each award is announced.

“Your service to your students and the San Antonio community is a shining example that your impact goes well beyond the walls of your classroom. Congratulations and thank you for what you do,” Morath told Lopez.

Lopez joins Jenna Dean, a fourth-grade teacher at Helena Park Elementary School in Nederland, as the second and final recipient in Texas this season. The two Texas recipients are among up to 40 elementary educators across the nation who will receive the Milken Educator Award during the 2022-23 school year, the release said.

In addition to the Feb. 10 celebration, Lopez will have the opportunity to join the national Milken Educator Network of more than 2,900 and growing of exemplary K-12 educators and leaders nationwide. Honorees receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the Milken Educator Awards Forum in Los Angeles in April.

Since the initiative’s inception in 1987, more than $140 million in funding, including more than $73 million in individual awards, has been devoted to the overall Milken Awards initiative, which includes powerful professional development opportunities throughout recipients’ careers, according to the release.