GLEN COVE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Long Island teacher has received what’s been dubbed the Oscar of teaching.

Glen Cove High School English teacher Lauren Jensen is the latest recipient of the prestigious Milken Educator Award.

She was surprised with the recognition during a school assembly Wednesday.

“I had no idea,” Jensen said. “Complete, 150 percent surprise.”

At the assembly, Jensen thanked and credited her students.

“You guys give my life meaning, and you give me purpose, so this award really should be for you guys, not for me,”  Jensen said. “There isn’t anything that I can imagine myself doing other than teaching; I live and breathe it.”

Her students said they’re thrilled Jensen was recognized.

“She’s always available for us regardless of what time of day it is,” one student said.

“She’s very deserving of this award,” another student said.

“I definitely think my life would be a lot different if I didn’t know her and I hadn’t learned everything I learned from her,” another student said.

The award was presented by Milken Family Foundation Co-Founder Mike Milken, whose organization presents checks annually to outstanding teachers across the country.

Jensen said she will share the $25,000 award with her students.

“I get meaning from or fulfillment from the influence I can have on high school kids because at this age they really need mentors,” Jensen said. “I put my heart and my soul into the job, and I appreciate going to work every single day.”