D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray visited DC Prep Edgewood Middle Campus to present a seventh grade math teacher with the 2013 Teacher of the Year award.
Julia King knew she was a finalist, but until Wednesday, she didn't know she won.
"She has no idea," said Principal Cassie Pergament. "She's going to be very surprised, and we're about to ambush her in her classroom, where she'll be teaching."
It's been a couple of months since they submitted her application.
D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray delivered the news to King and her class.
"This is a well-deserved honor for Ms. King, and I am proud to recognize her commitment to her students, to her school and to the District of Columbia," said Mayor Gray in a press release. "She exemplifies what outstanding teaching and professional leadership look like both within and beyond the classroom."
King, described by others as passionate, says it's her students who deserve the recognition.
"I was completely overwhelmed," she said.
King is all about making sure her students become highly educated and wants them to learn to become good citizens of the community.
Recently a reading teacher, King switched to seventh grade math, because there was a need.
"She shares a lot of her own personal stories during the lesson to help us really connect between the lesson and her life story," Savannah Hamilton, one of King's students, explained.
The 27-year-old also makes it a point to make sure parents know what is happening in her classroom.
And the lessons don't end with math.
Besides fractions, students learn about willpower and never giving up.
"The wonderful thing about teaching if I have a successful day, it means that my kids, hopefully all 22 of them, had a successful day as well," King exclaimed.
King will represent D.C. at next year's State Teacher of the Year Conference in Arizona. She will also serve in a variety of other educational capacities.