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 Milken Family Foundation Awards

The Milken Family Foundation National Educator Awards program provides public recognition and financial rewards to elementary and secondary schoolteachers, principals and other education professionals who are furthering excellence in education. By honoring outstanding educators, the program strives to attract, develop, motivate and retain talented people to the challenge and adventure of teaching.

In EDUCATION, the Foundation is committed to:

  • Strengthening the profession by recognizing and rewarding outstanding educators, and by expanding their professional leadership and policy influence.
  • Attracting, retaining, and motivating the best talent to the teaching profession.
  • Stimulating creativity and productivity among educators and students of all ages.
  • Fostering the involvement of both the family and the community in schools.
  • Helping build vibrant communities-especially by involving young people who have special needs, or who live in neighborhoods considered disadvantaged, in school-based programs that contribute to the revitalization of their community and to the well-being of its residents.
  • Outstanding educators who continue to learn and who are essential to the fostering of student growth, the improvement of schools and the enhancement of the education profession.

The Goals of the program are:

  • To honor and reward outstanding K-12 educators for the quality of their teaching, their professional leadership, their engagement with families and the community, and their potential for even greater contribution to the healthy development of children.
  • To focus public attention on the importance of excellent educators.
  • To encourage able, caring, and creative people to choose the challenge, service, and adventure of teaching as a career.
  • To create national and state networks of Milken Educators that: foster the active professional development and career enhancement of Milken Educators and other professionals, encourage Milken Educators to help shape the educational policies that influence their classrooms and schools, connect Milken Educators with the educational improvement efforts of state education agencies, universities, educators, corporate partners and others.
  • To engage corporate and foundation partners in assisting Milken Educators and in support of policies that advance education.

Criteria for the selection:

The criteria for the selection of outstanding elementary and secondary school teachers, principals and other education professionals as Milken Educators include all of the following:

  • 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;
  • Strong long-range potential for professional and policy leadership; and
  • Engaging and inspiring presence that motivates and impacts students, colleagues and the community.