October 27, 2009
Karla Denny, Director of Communications, 785-296-4876
For Immediate Release
Shawnee Heights Teacher Named a 2009 Milken Family Foundation National Educator
TOPEKA: On Tuesday, October 27, 2009, the Milken Family Foundation named Bradley Nicks as a Milken National Educator (MNE) in a surprise ceremony at Shawnee Heights High School, Shawnee Heights, Tecumseh USD 450. As a Milken National Educator, Nicks will receive an unrestricted cash award of $25,000, as well as an all-expense paid trip to Los Angeles, CA, to participate in the Milken Educator Forum held in the spring.
Milken Family Foundation Senior Vice President Dr. Jane Foley was joined by Commissioner of Education Dr. Alexa Posny, Deputy Commissioner Dale M. Dennis, Deputy Commissioner Dr. Diane DeBacker, and USD 450 Superintendent Dr. Martin Stessman at the school where Nicks teaches mathematics. Mr. Alan Beam, principal of Shawnee Heights High School, was also in attendance at the ceremony. The candidate was not aware that he was being considered for the award. Dr. Foley revealed the name of the 2009 Milken National Educator to the applause and cheers of his colleagues and students.
“Nothing in America’s K-12 schools has more influence on student learning than the quality of the classroom teacher,” said Milken Family Foundation Chairman and Co-Founder Lowell Milken. “Highly effective teachers are the bedrock in constructing a world-class education system that meets our challenges and opportunities in this 21st century. It is a national imperative that we attract, retain and motivate people of talent to the profession. America’s prosperity depends on it.”
Research has shown that the single most important school-based factor driving student performance is the quality of the teacher in the classroom. The most effective teachers produce as much as five times the learning gains of the least effective teachers.
The Milken Educator Awards have grown to become the nation’s largest teacher recognition program. Since its inception in1987, the Milken Educator Awards have recognized more than 2,400 educators, providing over $60 million in awards. The 2009 MNE recipients will join the Milken Educator Network, a rich resource of educators and other influential leaders accessible to fellow teachers, legislators, school boards, and others who are shaping the future of education. The award program is one of several programs sponsored by the Milken Family Foundation in the areas of education and medicine.
For more information on recognition programs administered by the Kansas Department of Education, contact Karla S. Denny, Communications & Recognition Programs Director (firstname.lastname@example.org) or (785) 296-4876.