Mercer County Principal Selected as a 2014 Milken Educator Award Winner

December 04, 2014

Ernie Adkins
Principal Dr. Ernie Adkins, Milken Educator Award Winner. Photo courtesy Milken Family Foundation.

PRINCETON, W. Va. - At a surprise school-wide assembly today, one unsuspecting educator learned that he had been selected as a 2014 Milken Educator Award recipient. Dr. Ernie Adkins, a K-2 principal for Mercer County’s Princeton Primary School in Princeton, WV, was presented the prestigious award in front of the entire school community and state and local officials by West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Michael Martirano and Dr. Jane Foley, senior vice president, Milken Educator Awards.

The honor, described as "the Oscars of teaching" by Teacher Magazine, comes with an unrestricted cash prize of $25,000 and public recognition of recipients from around the country who are furthering excellence in education and raising student achievement.

Adkins has a proven track record of raising the performance of schools where he has been a teacher or administrator. Peers describe Adkins as an innovative, creative, down-to-earth guy who relates well with people and gets the job done. Adkins has worked in the education arena for nine years.

The Milken Educator Awards, conceived by the Milken Family Foundation to attract, retain and motivate outstanding talent to the teaching profession, is the nation's preeminent teacher recognition program. Since 1987, the Milken Family Foundation has devoted more than $137 million in funding to the Milken Educator Awards, including over $65 million in individual Awards to more than 2,600 recipients plus powerful professional development opportunities and networking with leading education stakeholders.

Educators are recommended for this prestigious honor without their knowledge by a blue-ribbon panel appointed by each participating state's 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 or the Milken Family Foundation at (312) 570-4771. Awards information can also be found on the Foundation website at

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