MDE News

Pearl Lower Elementary Teacher Selected as 2012 Milken Educator Award Recipient

by Nov 13, 2012


For Immediate Release: November 13, 2012

Contact: Patrice Guilfoyle, Director of Communications 601.359.3706

JACKSON, Miss. – Pearl Lower Elementary School teacher Sabrina Morgan learned Tuesday during a surprise school-wide assembly that she received one of education’s most prestigious recognitions - the 2012 Milken Educator Award.

The national award, which goes to up to 40 of America’s exemplary elementary teachers, came with an unrestricted cash prize of $25,000.  Dr. Kim Benton, interim deputy state superintendent of education, and Dr. Gary Stark, a representative from the Milken Family Foundation, presented the award to Morgan during the assembly, which was heralded with fanfare typically reserved for stellar performances by athletes and entertainers.

Morgan, a first-grade teacher, has served the Pearl School District as an elementary instructor for 11 years. Through her leadership last year, she rallied Pearl Lower Elementary students to read 10,000 books between the end of spring break and the end of the school year last. The students met that challenge in less than four weeks.

What separates the Milken award from others is that the recipients have no idea that they will be honored. Not only is the entire selection process confidential, but so is the real purpose of the school-wide assemblies where the awards are presented.

The Milken Foundation has been recognizing and rewarding the profession of teaching through Milken Educator Awards for 26 years. Since first presented to a dozen California teachers, the program has grown to become the nation’s preeminent teacher recognition program having honored more than 2,500 K-12 teachers, principals and specialists with more than $63 million in individual, unrestricted $25,000 cash prizes.

Candidates for the Milken Educator Awards are selected on the basis of all the following criteria:

  • Exceptional educational talent as evidenced by effective instructional practices and student learning results in the classroom and school;
  • Exemplary educational accomplishments beyond the classroom that provide models of excellence for the profession;
  • Individuals whose contributions to education are largely unheralded yet worthy of the spotlight;
  • Early- to mid-career educators who offer strong long-range potential for professional and policy leadership; and
  • Engaging and inspiring presence that motivates and impacts students, colleagues and the community.

Milken news release online:

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