Linda Dishman, a fifth-grade teacher at Berryton Elementary School, on Friday, Oct. 12, became the first teacher in the nation to receive the 2018-2019 Milken Educator Award.
The award was presented to Dishman by Kansas Commissioner of Education Dr. Randy Watson and Lowell Milken, co-founder of the Milken Educator Award, during a surprise all-school assembly at Berryton Elementary, Shawnee Heights Unified School District 450.
Dishman is the nation’s first 2018-2019 recipient of the national recognition, which comes with an unrestricted $25,000 cash prize. She is the only Milken Educator Award winner from Kansas this year, and is among up to 40 honorees across the nation for 2018-2019.
“It is an honor to recognize Linda Dishman as the 2018-2019 Milken Family Foundation Educator,” Commissioner Watson said. “She is a leader in and out of the classroom. Linda values each one of her students and uses hands-on and student-centered activities to teach them. Thank you, Linda, for your dedication in preparing each student for a successful future. I also want to thank the Milken Family Foundation for providing Kansas the opportunity to recognize some of our finest educators.”
A well-rounded educator with attention to detail and a robust analytical mind, Dishman has served on school and district leadership teams and has helped implement performance assessments, conceptual mathematics instruction, balanced literacy and growth mindset development. She helps her students set goals and monitor their progress, supporting them with concrete plans to overcome obstacles and help reach their targets.
Dishman's classroom is a safe environment that allows students to take risks, experiment and explore. She often reminds her students that "Failure leads to success." Dishman lives and breathes this positive message of persistence in her teaching, her staff career development initiatives and her coaching of intramural sports.
"In teaching, one person has the power to make a profound difference in the lives of so many," Milken said. "And great teachers like Linda Dishman amplify that change, building up the confidence, intellectual capacity and future prospects of students in ways that will have long lasting, positive impacts on them as individuals and on our society as a whole."
Dr. Martin Stessman, superintendent of Shawnee Heights USD 450, said: "Mrs. Dishman is a tremendous teacher who understands both the art and science of teaching. Her combination of talent and work ethic makes her successful in reading all students. She not only educates them, she inspires them to do better and be better."
Dishman earned a bachelor's degree in elementary education in 2012 from Washburn University and a master's degree in education as a reading specialist in 2018 from Fort Hays State University.
More information about Dishman, plus links to photos and a video from today’s assembly, can be found on the Milken Educator Awards website at http://www.milkeneducatorawards.org/educators/view/Linda-Dishman.
Milken Educators are selected in early to mid-career for what they have achieved and for the promise of what they will accomplish. In addition to the $25,000 prize and public recognition, the honor includes membership in the National Milken Educator Network, a group of more than 2,700 top teachers, principals and specialists dedicated to strengthening education.
In addition to participation in the Milken Educator Network, 2018-2019 recipients will attend a Milken Educator Forum from March 21-24, 2019, in Washington, D.C. Educators will have the opportunity to network with their new colleagues and hear from state and federal officials about maximizing their leadership roles to advance educator effectiveness.
More than $138 million in funding, including $68 million in individual $25,000 awards, has been devoted to the overall awards initiative, which includes professional learning opportunities throughout recipients’ careers.
The Milken Award alternate yearly between elementary and secondary educators. Educators can't apply for this recognition and don't even know they are under consideration. Candidates are sourced through a confidential selection process and then are reviewed by blue ribbon panels appointed by state departments of education. Those most exceptional are recommended for the award, with final approval by the Milken Family Foundation.
Past recipients have used their awards to fund their children’s education or their own continuing education. Others have financed dream field trips, established scholarships and even funded the adoption of children.
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