SAHUARITA, Ariz. -- A southern Arizona high school teacher has won a $25,0 Milken Educator Award.
Christopher Laughland is an English and Audio Visual teacher at Walden Grove High School in Sahuarita, near Tucson.
He received the award Wednesday morning at a surprise school assembly.
Officials say Laughland has only been teaching for six years but his instructional practices have contributed to Walden Grove High's impressive state test scores.
In the school's first year in 2012, 90 percent of his students met or exceeded benchmarks on the state AIMS Reading test.
On the state AIMS Writing test, 74 percent met or exceeded targets. That's 5 percent above the state and Pima County average.
The Milken Family Foundation is touring the country to present the prestigious award to up to 40 outstanding educators.