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Milken Family Foundation Educator Awards Symbol Milken Family Foundation Educator Awards Program


2015 Kansas Milken Award Winner -  Bill Smithyman
Bill Valley Northwest High School, Blue Valley USD 229, Overland Park, KS  


Milken Educator Awards Goals

Outstanding educators who continue to learn are essential to the fostering of student growth, the improvement of schools, and enhancing the teaching profession. 

Hence, the goals of the Milken Educator Awards are:


  • To honor and reward outstanding K-12 educators for the quality of their teaching, their professional leadership, their engagement with families and the community, and their potential for even greater contribution to the healthy development of children.
  • To focus public attention on the importance of excellent educators.To encourage able, caring and creative people to choose the challenge, service and adventure of teaching as a career.
  • To create national and state networks of Milken Educators that:
      • foster the active professional development and career enhancement of Milken Educators and other professionals;
      • encourage Milken Educators to help shape the educational policies that influence classrooms and schools;
      • connect Milken Educators with the educational improvement efforts of state and federal education agencies, universities, educators, corporate partners and others.
  • To engage corporate and foundation partners in assisting Milken Educators and in support of policies that advance education.

Milken Educator Awards – Selection Criteria

Based on guidelines established by the Foundation, participating states’ departments of education appoint blue-ribbon committees that recommend candidates for selection.  Identification and selection procedures are confidential, and the program does not include a formal nomination or application procedure.


The criteria for the selection of outstanding elementary and secondary school teachers, principals and other education professionals as Milken Educators 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 and policy leadership; and  
  • Engaging and inspiring presence that motivates and impacts students, colleagues and the community.



Milken Educators List

Questions about this page contact

Tamla Miller
(785) 296-4950

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