By Alicia Nieves

Follow CBSPHILLY Facebook  | Twitter

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A special honor for a principal from Chester County.

She’ll soon be heading to the White House to accept an award only given to a select few.

For 50 years, Margaret Egan has been an educator in Chester County.

The last 18 years, she’s been the principal at St. Peter and Paul’s Catholic School in West Chester.

This week the White House and the U.S. Secretary of Education recognized her school’s excellence, with a blue ribbon award.

And then recognized her with a prestigious Terrel H. Bell Award–something this year, only given to 11 school leaders in the country.

“I actually cried when I found out we were Blue Ribbon, and then to hear this–it’s just overwhelming,” Egan said.

It’s partly overwhelming because she was nominated for the award by her staff, initially without her knowing.

“The team that wrote about her, just from their heart wrote about what an outstanding leader she is,” said Barbara Downing, advancement director at St. Peter and Paul School.

“She greets everybody by the front door every single morning and she goes out of her way to know every student’s name,” said Veronica Chandler, a teacher at the school.

While Mrs. Egan appreciates the kind words and the recognition, she says the biggest award is being able to do this job

On Nov. 7, Mrs. Egan will head down to Washington, D.C. to receive her award in person. She is excited to meet the Secretary of Education but also the other 10 recipients of this prestigious award. As a true educator, she wants to learn there a best practices and bring them here.