Karla Denny, Director, Communications and Recognition Programs
October 30, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Milken Family Foundation Names Two Kansas Educators as MFF National Educators
TOPEKA: On Tuesday, October 30, 2007, the Milken Family Foundation named Jamelle Brown, a speech and forensics instructor at Sumner Academy of Arts and Science, USD 500, Kansas City, Kansas, and Eric Kessler, a science teacher at Blue Valley North High School, USD 229 Blue Valley, as Milken Family Foundation National Educators. As such, they will receive unrestricted cash awards of $25,000, as well as all-expense paid trips to Los Angeles, CA, to participate in the annual Milken Family Foundation National Educators Conference next March.
Governor Kathleen Sebelius joined Milken Family Foundation Senior Vice President—Milken Educator Awards Dr. Jane Foley, Commissioner Alexa Posny, Deputy Commissioner Dale Dennis, and Superintendents Dr. Jill Shackelford and Dr. Tom Trigg at separate ceremonies at both schools where Mrs. Brown and Mr. Kessler were named in surprise announcements. Dr. Mary Viveros, principal of Sumner Academy of Arts and Science, and Dr. Carter Burns, principal of Blue Valley North High School, were also in attendance at the ceremonies. The candidates were not aware that they were being considered for the award. Governor Sebelius revealed the names of each of the Kansas educators to the applause and cheers of their students.
“Teachers have the most important jobs in America,” said Milken Family Foundation Chairman and Co-Founder Lowell Milken. “We entrust them with the enormous responsibility of preparing our young people with the skills, knowledge and experiences needed to be successful in a most challenging 21st century. The Milken Educator Awards say, in a very public way, that greatness in education must be recognized and rewarded.”
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.
Active in 48 states and the District of Columbia, 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 2,300 educators, with over $58 million. The 2007 recipients will receive their $25,000 checks during the Milken National Education Conference held in Los Angeles this spring. Before an audience of national business, government and education leaders, the newest Milken Educators will be honored at a gala awards ceremony so spectacular that it has been dubbed by Teacher magazine as “the Oscars of teaching.” New 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, at email@example.com
or (785) 296-4876.