Milken Educator Award

What is the Milken Educator Award?

The Milken Educator Award is an initiative of the Milken Family Foundation. For 30 years, the foundation has inspired excellence in the world of education by honoring top educators around the country with $25,000 in unrestricted awards. The award targets early-to-mid career teachers and principals for their already impressive achievements and, more significantly, for the promise of what they will accomplish in the future. Since Tennessee joined the Milken Educator Award program in 1992, sixty-four Tennessee educators have been awarded a total of $1.6 million.

What is the criteria for selection?

Candidates for the Milken Educator Award are chosen through a confidential process and then reviewed by a panel appointed by the state department of education with final approval by the Milken Family Foundation. The criteria for the selection of outstanding elementary and secondary school teachers and principals include all of the following:

  • exceptional educational talent as evidenced by effective instructional practices and student learning results in the classroom and school;
  • exemplary educational accomplishments beyond the classroom that provide models of excellence for the profession;
  • individuals whose contributions to education are largely unheralded yet worthy of the spotlight;
  • early-to mid-career educators who offer strong long-range potential for professional policy and leadership; and
  • engaging and inspiring presence that motivates and impacts students, colleagues, and the community.

What opportunities exist for Milken educators?

Milken educators are invited to join the Milken Educator Network, a group of more than 2,700 distinguished educators and leaders from across the country, whose expertise serves as a valuable resource to fellow educators, legislators, school boards, and others shaping the future of education. The Milken Family Foundation also provides professional development opportunities, such as networking with leading education stakeholders, for Milken Educators to impact education at local, state, and national levels.

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