PARK SLOPE - The NYC Department of Education honored a Brooklyn teacher earlier today with the Milken Educator Award.

NYC School Chancellor Joel Klein and New York State Education Commissioner Dr. David Steiner surprised Natasha Cooke-Nieves, of P.S. 282, in Park Slope with the award, which recognizes outstanding teachers with a hefty check.

Cooke-Nieves received a check worth $25,000 and says she is going to use the money to pay off her student loans.