By Ron Matz

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Good teachers make a difference. That’s the message students at Baltimore City College heard Thursday as one of their teachers was honored.

Ron Matz was there as hundreds cheered the surprise of a lifetime.

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They’re doing just fine at Baltimore City College, where Mark Miazga sat with hundreds of students, alumni and dignitaries welcoming Milken Foundation co-founder Michael Milken who would surprise a teacher with a $25,000 award.

Miazga was the one. As hundreds cheered, the soft spoken English teacher said he’s inspired by his students.

“I’m in a state of shock,” he said. “I feel just really lucky to have a job I love, and I have students that inspire me everyday.”

The legendary financier now devotes his time and his money to education.

“I’m sure part of the money will go towards paying off student loans, and I’ll probably take a nice trip this summer. I’m not sure yet,” Miazga said.

Miazga has been at City College for 13 years.

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“I wanted to be a teacher as long as I can remember. You try to push the students as hard as you can and get them ready for their futures,” he said.

His students say he’s a teacher who makes a difference.

“The future of our country is in our classrooms. We needed the teachers to feel the country was recognizing them, that students were recognizing them and to recruit the best and brightest to the profession,” said Michael Milken, Milken Foundation.

It was a phenomenal day at the “Castle on the Hill.”

“One of the key messages to everyone is that these dedicated teachers will make your community. The children are dependent on the teacher in the classroom,” Milken said.

Miazga is more than a teacher at City College. He’s also the school’s baseball coach.

“I love teaching and I love coaching. The season starts on Monday, weather permitting,” Miazga said.

Since it began more than 30 years ago, the Milken Foundation has provided more than $136 million in school funding, including over $64 million in individual $25,000 awards.

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