"In creating the Award, I meant for the size of the prize to have its own effect, calling attention to the importance of a job whose pay is not remotely equivalent to its worth to children and society." - Lowell Milken
For the 1,000th Milken Educator Award Notification, none other than Oprah Winfrey herself and her show's entire live audience joined Milken Family Foundation Chairman and Co-founder Lowell Milken to surprise teacher Catherine Schaller with her award.
"When I stood at the podium to acknowledge my Milken Educator Award, I looked amongst the surprised faces of my students. What touched me most was to see the teenage faces that were filled with tears of joy. I knew at the moment the impact I had on the lives of my students." - Kim Burke-Ables Milken Educator Award Recipient 2003
Putting the "family" in Milken Family Foundation, Lowell's sister Joni Milken joins him to present a Milken Educator Award.
Lowell stands with Milken Educator Award Recipient Justin Singleton surrounded by adulated students after the announcement of his award. Of his experience, Justin said: "This is the best day of my life."
Lowell is joined by longtime friend and living legend Dodgers' manager Tommy Lasorda to congratulate teacher Anna Gutierrez on her Milken Educator Award.
Lowell Milken visits the classroom of Milken Educator Award recipient Amy Stanislowski while she gives an enthusiastic lesson to her students.
Lowell Milken speaks with students of Anthony Whittington after his Milken Educator Award announcement in 2004. Of his award, Anthony said, "A high-quality education gets you into the Super Bowl of Life. Without an education, you're listening to the game on the radio."
Initiatives » Milken Educator Awards
Conceived and created by Lowell Milken, the Milken Educator Awards is the nation’s preeminent teacher recognition program. Over 2,700 exemplary teachers, principals and specialists have been surprised with individual, unrestricted $25,000 prizes since 1987. Recipients are heralded early to mid-career for what they have achieved—and for the promise of what they will accomplish in the future. Honorees join the national Milken Educator Network, a group whose expertise is a valuable resource to those shaping the future of education.
Over 2,700 Awards have been given out to date, totaling over $68 million. In addition to receiving the award, Milken Educators are given access to a powerful network of education professionals and development tools throughout the rest of their careers.
Recipients are surprised in ceremonies in front of their colleagues and students, often times during all-school assemblies. In front of cheering students, proud colleagues, distinguished officials and the media, each recipient is thanked for their contributions to education, both for what they have accomplished and also for their future potential. The publication Teacher magazine even nicknamed the awards, calling it the “Oscars of Teaching”—new Milken Educators have even been asked for autographs by admiring students! And while the celebrity treatment is well-deserved, the Awards aren’t about the glitz and glamour. They’re about bringing attention to these classroom heroes; serving at once as validation, motivation and inspiration to current and future quality educators.
Below are the official criteria for the Milken Educator Award recipient selection process:
Based on guidelines established by the Milken Family Foundation, participating states’ departments of education appoint blue-ribbon committees that recommend candidates for selection. Identification and selection procedures are confidential, and the program does not include a formal nomination or application procedure.
To read more about the Milken Educator Awards, please visit www.milkeneducatorawards.org.