TOPEKA – Heidi Albin, a science teacher at Complete High School Maize in Maize Unified School District 266, on Thursday, Nov. 9 was named the 2017-2018 Milken Family Foundation Educator by the Milken Family Foundation in a surprise ceremony at the school in Maize.
As a Milken Educator, Albin receives an unrestricted cash award of $25,000.
Dr. Jane Foley, Milken Educator Awards senior vice president, was joined by Kansas Commissioner of Education Dr. Randy Watson, Kansas Deputy Commissioner Dale M. Dennis and Maize USD 266 superintendent Chad Higgins for a surprise presentation.
Albin was unaware she was being considered for the award until Foley revealed the name of the 2017-2018 Milken Educator to the applause and cheers of teachers, administrators and students.
Albin is one of only 45 educators around the country being recognized this year with the ME distinction. Candidates for the award are early to mid-career educators who have shown evidence of exceptional educational talent through effective instructional practices and student learning results and who have shown exemplary educational accomplishments outside of the classroom.
Albin, of Kechi, has served as an educator at CHSM since 2009. She received her bachelor’s degree in biology, cum laude, with an emphasis on cellular molecular biology and a minor in chemistry, in July 2009 from Fort Hays State University (FHSU). Albin received her master’s degree in education in May 2013 from FHSU.
Kansas joined the ME program in 1992 and Albin is the 65th Kansas ME recipient. More than $1.5 million has been awarded in Kansas since the beginning of the program. The Milken Award recognizes exemplary elementary and secondary school teachers, principals and specialists who are furthering excellence in education. The award alternates yearly between elementary and secondary educators. They are sourced through each participating state department of education, which appoints an independent blue ribbon committee to confidentially review candidates for recommendation to the Milken Family Foundation.
“Heidi Albin is a great example of Kansas’ outstanding teachers,” said Kansas Commissioner of Education Dr. Randy Watson. “She is an amazing young educator, and the relationships and bonds she creates with her students are remarkable. She truly has a passion for education. Thank you, Heidi, for all of your hard work and dedication. I also want to thank the Milken Family Foundation for providing us this opportunity to recognize some of Kansas’ finest educators.”
Along with the financial prize, recipients join the National Milken Educator Network, a coast-to-coast group of more than 2,700 top teachers, principals and specialists. The 2017-18 honorees also can attend an all-expenses paid Milken Educator Forum from March 21-24, 2018, in Washington, D.C., where they will network with their new colleagues and exchange ideas with state and federal officials on the future of education.
The Milken Educator Awards have grown to become the nation’s largest teacher recognition program. Since its inception in 1987, the Milken Educator Awards have recognized nearly 2,700 educators, providing more than $68 million in individual $25,000 awards. The award program is one of several programs sponsored by the Milken Family Foundation in the areas of education and medicine.
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