Megan Morgan, a library and media specialist at Oliver Brown Elementary School, Manhattan-Ogden Unified School District 383, was awarded a $25,000 Milken Educator Award on Tuesday, April 26, for her work as an enthusiastic advocate for reading and literacy.
Milken Educator Awards Vice President Stephanie Bishop, joined by Kansas Commissioner of Education Dr. Randy Watson, surprised Morgan with the honor before cheering students, colleagues, state and local officials. Morgan is one of only two educators in Kansas and among more than 60 nationwide to be recognized with the Award during the 2021-2022 school year.
Morgan successfully brought in millions of dollars in grant funding for her school, enabling staff members to purchase thousands of books for children in need in the Manhattan-Ogden district. The money also was used to purchase a school therapy dog who resides in the library and serves students’ social-emotional learning needs, and a program to connect students with deployed military parents via Skype.
Hailed as the “Oscars of Teaching,” the Milken Educator Awards celebrate, elevate and activate the American teaching profession and inspire young, capable people to join it.
“The level of energy Megan brings not only to her young learners, but to the profession overall, is so inspiring,” Watson said. “Her natural tendency to lead and collaborate with her peers translates into her students regularly demonstrating high levels of growth.”
Morgan recently joined the education team at Oliver Brown Elementary School. Prior to her position at Oliver Brown, she transformed the library at Ogden Elementary School into a hub of student life and learning. Morgan was the library and media specialist at Ogden Elementary and taught every student, every week, from pre-K to sixth grade.
Morgan also served a second-grade teacher and seamlessly integrated both library and content standards into her instruction, supporting students as they tackled project involving research, writing and presentation skills.
Morgan took on numerous leadership roles at Ogden Elementary and within the district, including lead ELA teacher, volunteer coordinator and PTO president. She chaired the student intervention team, served as a district co-teaching coach, and mentored first- and second-year teachers.
Morgan earned a bachelor’s in elementary education in 2008 and a master’s in special education in 2010 from Kansas State University, as well as a master’s in library science in 2017 from Emporia State University.
“Megan Morgan brings the joy of reading and exploring the world through the pages of a book to life for all of her students,” said Bishop, who herself is a 2001 Milken Educator from Virginia. “Her enthusiasm for learning through literacy is evident everywhere, from the corners of the library to the classrooms throughout the school, and for this, we celebrate her as our newest Milken Educator.”
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