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Teacher uses prize money to treat students to New Orleans trip

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Deborah Bishop, a Spanish teacher at West Harrison High School, is using some of her recent game show winnings to introduce her students to the opera. Deborah Bishop, a Spanish teacher at West Harrison High School, is using some of her recent game show winnings to introduce her students to the opera.
HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

Twenty Harrison County students enjoyed dinner at a fancy New Orleans restaurant and a night at the opera Wednesday. They didn't have to pay a dime for their trip, thanks to a very generous teacher.

Deborah Bishop recently won a lot of money on a well-known television game show. On Wednesday, she made good on a promise to share some of her winnings with her students.

Bishop is always the center of attention in her class at West Harrison High School. Back in September, the Spanish teacher landed in the national spotlight. Out of 200 people, she and two other contestants were selected to compete on the popular game show "Who Wants to be a Millionaire"?

"I won $23,500. Wow, absolutely wonderful!" Bishop exclaimed. "It was absolutely thrilling. I cried of course."

"We were all really shocked and we're very proud of her," said Erin Lavey, a member of the school's Spanish Honor Society.

Bishop is the advisor of the Spanish Honor Society. On the show, she told the host what she planned to do with her prize money.

"I told Meredith Viera with tears in my eyes that I wanted to bring my Spanish Honor Society to the opera," said Bishop. "I'd have plenty of money to pay for it, because I didn't want them to have to worry about it. I wanted to do this for them."

Bishop spent $3,000 on a trip to New Orleans for 20 members of the Spanish Honor Society.

"Because they're good kids. They work really hard in my class. They're honor students and they should have the best of the best," she said.

Bishop arranged for two limousines to pick up the students and she treated them to dinner at the Court of Two Sisters. Afterwards, they attended a dress rehearsal of the opera: The Barber of Seville. Bishop got the show tickets for free, because she is a member of "Opera in the Classroom for Teachers." 

"Everybody's been looking forward to it. We've been talking about it all week and at our meetings. Nobody's ever been," said Zack Moran, Spanish Honor Society President.

"We're all very honored. It's so nice of her to do it, because most of us have never been to an opera, and we might not get the chance again," said Erin Lavey.

Bishop is also using her winnings to inspire her students. She is creating three $500 scholarships for the Spanish Honor Society.

"That's for the students who are dedicated, who have really worked hard, who have done their philanthropy, and who have been dedicated," said Bishop.

When asked where the rest of the money is going, Bishop smiled said replied, "Don't tell my husband, but shoes."

Bishop is planning to help out several charities as well.

By the way, during their trip to New Orleans Wednesday, the students also dropped by Children's Hospital to donate a bunch of toys.

Copyright 2012 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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