East Tennessee Teacher Receives National Recognition as a Milken Educator

Thursday, March 28, 2024 | 08:33am


Award Recognizes Exceptional Teachers Across Nation

Clinton, TN— Today, the Tennessee Department of Education announced East Tennessee Assistant Principal Abbey Kidwell of Clinton Elementary School in Clinton City Schools has been named a recipient of the prestigious Milken Educator Award, one of the highest honors in education that has been dubbed the “Oscars of Teaching” by Teacher Magazine.

"Congratulations to Ms. Kidwell on representing the state of Tennessee by receiving the prestigious Milken Educator Award," said Commissioner Lizzette Reynolds. "This well-deserved award is a testament to the impactful service and leadership she demonstrates to her students, community and the educator profession.” 

Abbey Kidwell serves as a leader in her community, school, and district. Her hands-on approach to supporting students and teachers is evident in each decision she makes each day. She is innovative in coaching students and teachers according to their needs as she moves through classrooms each day and demonstrates what it means to be an instructional leader. Ms. Kidwell’s role in providing support to new teachers has shaped what mentoring looks like in her district. Learn more about Abbey Kidwell here

"Clinton City Schools is honored that Abbey Kidwell has received this prestigious award,” said Kelly Johnson, Director of Schools, Clinton City School District. “She has been instrumental in setting Clinton Elementary School on a path for continuous improvement. Her leadership has created a culture that demands excellence while providing an abundance of support. She is an advocate for every student and staff member seeking diligently to deepen her knowledge of best practice strategies, rigorous instruction, accountability, and student ownership. I can think of no one more deserving to receive the Milken Award than Abbey Kidwell." 

Established in 1987, the Milken National Educator Awards were created to attract, reward and retain the highest caliber professionals in the education profession. The award recognizes early-to-mid career teachers and principals for both their impressive achievements and the promise of future accomplishments. Recipients are honored with $25,000 in unrestricted awards. Since Tennessee joined the Milken Educator Award program in 1992, 73 Tennessee educators have been awarded over $1.8 million. 

To learn more information about the Milken Educator Awards, click here.  

For Tennessee Department of Education media inquiries, contact Edu.MediaInquiries@tn.gov.