Unsuspecting educators across America are being surprised with the news of their $25,000 awards during emotional all-school assemblies attended by state and local officials, students, peers and community leaders. The teachers can spend the money any way they choose.
“Quality teaching is the basic building block of better schools and student success. Good teachers really do make a difference,” said state Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steve Paine. “Educators like these give us great hope for the future of American education, and America’s children. We are proud to salute these teachers for their vision and dedication to the profession.”
Kelli Stanley, a reading teacher at Oakvale School in Mercer County, received the Milken Award this afternoon.
Recipients are presented with their $25,000 checks at the Milken Family Foundation National Education Conference, an all-expenses-paid professional development conference being held in Los Angeles. They also join the Milken Educator Network, a coalition of top educators who have access to a variety of expert resources to help cultivate and expand innovative programs in their classrooms, schools and districts.
Education pioneer and reformer Lowell Milken – the Foundation’s Chairman and Co-Founder – created the awards in 1985 to recognize the efforts of some of our nation’s most outstanding teachers, principals and specialists in K-12 public education. Under his leadership, the Milken National Educator Awards program has become the largest teacher recognition program in the United States.
Educators are recommended for this prestigious honor without their knowledge by a blue-ribbon panel appointed by the West Virginia Department of Education. Recipients of the Milken Educator Awards are selected on the basis of numerous criteria including:
•Exceptional educational talent as evidenced by outstanding instructional practices in the classroom, school and profession; •Outstanding accomplishment and strong long-range potential for professional and policy leadership; •Engaging and inspiring presence that motivates and impacts students, colleagues and the community.
For more information about the $25,000 awards, please contact Liza Cordeiro, West Virginia Department of Education, at (304) 558-2699. Awards information can also be found on the Foundation's Web site at www.mff.org.