Zsuzsanna Diamond teaches 4th grade at Otter Creek Elementary in Little Rock.
She had no idea Governor Mike Beebe would present her with the 2012 Milken Educator Award.
Teacher Magazine compares the award to the acting world's Oscars.
Diamond said she is going to use the money to travel back home to Hungary.
She said her secret to success is, "Love for children, love for teaching and I truly believe that everybody, every student can learn and achieve great successes."
The Milken program has honored more than 2,500 educators over the past 26 years.