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Olathe USD 233 principal named 2016-17 Milken Family Foundation Educator, receives $25,000 award

Olathe USD 233 principal named 2016-17 Milken Family Foundation Educator, receives $25,000 award
Posted: Oct 7, 2016
Categories: KSDE
Author: Ann Bush

Stephanie Conklin, a principal at Brougham Elementary School in Olathe Unified School District 233, on Oct. 7 was named the 2016-2017 Milken Family Foundation Educator by the Milken Family Foundation in a surprise ceremony at the school in Olathe.

As a Milken Educator, Conklin will receive an unrestricted cash award of $25,000.

Lowell Milken, Milken Family Foundation chairman and co-founder, was joined by Kansas Commissioner of Education Randy Watson, Kansas Deputy Commissioner Dale M. Dennis and Olathe USD 233 interim superintendent Patricia All for a surprise presentation.

Conklin was unaware she was being considered for the award until Milken revealed the name of the 2016-2017 Milken Educator to the applause and cheers of teachers, administrators and students.

The Milken Educator Awards is celebrating 30 years of surprising teachers and administrators.

Conklin is one of only 35 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.

“The educational outcomes that Stephanie Conklin has helped to drive at Brougham Elementary School are outstanding and a true example of the leadership that’s needed to ensure children’s success,” Milken said. “Staff, students and parents rise to the expectations and well-articulated goals she establishes, creating a strong and vibrant learning community.”

Conklin has served as a building administrator at Brougham Elementary since August 2010. She began her career in the education field in August 2002 at White Church Elementary School in Kansas City, Kan. She also has taught at Ravenwood Elementary School in Olathe. Conklin worked as an administrative intern at Arbor Creek, Cedar Creek and Sunnyside elementary schools in Olathe from July 2008 through May 2010.

“Stephanie’s greatest strength is instructional leadership,” said Brent Yeager, executive director of general administration and elementary programs for USD 233. “She is highly engaged in all classrooms and the learning of every student in the school. Stephanie is in every classroom, every day. She knows every student by name. She has created a family environment in her school that makes kids want to come to school each day and makes families want to be involved.”

Kansas joined the ME program in 1992 and Conklin is the 64th 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.

“Stephanie Conklin is a great example of Kansas’ outstanding principals,” Commissioner Watson said. “It’s an honor to recognize her. She dedicates so much of her time to her students and helps prepare them for the future. I want to thank the Milken Family Foundation for providing us the opportunity to recognize some of Kansas’ finest educators and administrators.”

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 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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