Two West Virginia Educators are Surprised with $25,000 Milken National Educator Awards

October 10, 2001

Two West Virginia educators were honored this week for their exceptional contributions to quality education when they were named as recipients of the prestigious Milken Family Foundation National Educator Awards.  

Dubbed the “Oscars of Teaching” by Teacher Magazine, the Milken National Educator Awards were created in 1985 to reward, retain and attract the highest caliber professionals to our nation’s schools.  

From October 8-19, over 100 unsuspecting educators across America will be surprised with the news of their $25,000 awards– which can be used any way they choose– during emotional all-school assemblies attended by state and local officials, students, peers and community leaders.  

“Each of these educators is making a significant contribution to the lives of children in West Virginia,” said State Superintendent of Schools Dr. David Stewart. “This marks our 12th year of recognizing excellence in education with the Milken Family Foundation, and we are proud to salute these teachers for their vision and dedication to the profession.”  

Sam Moore, a science teacher at Cammack Middle School in Cabell County, was named the second winner of the Educator Award today. The first West Virginia recipient announced yesterday was Kenna Barger, a mathematics teacher at the Randolph County Vocational-Technical Center.  

Recipients are presented with their $25,000 checks at the Milken Family Foundation National Education Conference, an all-expenses-paid professional development conference held annually in Los Angeles. They also join the Milken Educator Network, a coalition of more than 1,700 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. By the end of October, the Foundation will have presented nearly $45 million to over 1,750 exceptional educators from 44 states.  

Educators are recommended for this prestigious honor without their knowledge by a blue-ribbon panel appointed by each 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 theclassroom, 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 Kim Lawrence, West Virginia Department of Education at (304) 558-2699 or the Milken Family Foundation at (310) 998-3009. Awards information can also be found on the Foundation website at  



KENNA BARGER 9-12 Mathematics Teacher Randolph County Vocational Technical Center Years in education: 10  

Educational Background: BS: West Virginia University MA: West Virginia University  

Awards and Honors: •Disney’s American Teacher Award Finalist 2001 •WV Council for Teachers of Mathematics Secondary Math Teacher of the Year 2000 •Randolph County Teacher of the Year 1997 •State Presidential Award Winner for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching 1997 •Randolph County Young Careerist 1995  

Other Personal/Professional Highlights: •High Schools That Work Coordinator •National Presenter for Southern Regional Education Board •Leader for Project MERIT: Mathematics Education Reform Initiative for Teachers •Consultant for Educational Testing Service-end of Algebra exam  


SAM MOORE 7th Grade Science Teacher Cammack Middle School, Cabell County Years in education: 23  

Educational Background: BS: Bluefield State College MA: Marshall University  

Awards and Honors: •Who’s Who Among American Teachers 2000, 1998 •Tri-State Black Leadership Award 1995 •Outstanding Young Men in America 1982  

Other Personal/Professional Highlights: •Member of Marshall University’s President’s Commission on Multiculturalism •Served on Strategic Planning Committee for Cabell County Schools •Served six years as faculty senate chair •Serves as Vice President local NAACP •Full Gospel Assembly Pastor •Founder of Heads Up, Adult African American Men’s Roundtable •Member, Cabell County Staff Development Council  



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