On November 12, 2013, at Bear Creek High School in Lakewood, CO, the state's Commissioner of Education Robert Hammond joined Milken Family Foundation Chairman and Co-founder Lowell Milken to present “ social studies teacher Jose Martinez with a Milken Educator Award.
Martinez, who is fluent in Spanish, is credited with increasing literacy at Bear Creek through his emphasis on reading and writing. His honors world geography students are well prepared for Advanced Placement social studies courses. His gift for connecting with students extends to those at risk. In his study-hall class, Martinez has turned around young lives with one-on-one guidance. After he team-taught an economics class for at-risk seniors, every one of the students graduated.
One of education’s most prestigious recognitions, the Award comes with a no-strings-attached cash prize of $25,000. Today’s Award, one of up to 40 to be given in 2013, will be the only one presented in Colorado. When Jose Martinez’s name was announced, the entire gymnasium, packed with 1,750 students, colleagues and dignitaries, erupted into cheers, and this exceptional educator experienced a fanfare typically reserved for all-star athletes and award-winning entertainers.
“Our public education system is at the heart of America’s promise and essential to safeguarding the American dream for future generations,” said Lowell Milken, chairman and co-founder of the Milken Family Foundation. “With research confirming that effective teachers represent the single most important school-related factor in raising student achievement, it is important to honor them, learn from them, and inspire more capable people to enter the profession. As the program’s motto extols, the future belongs to the educated.”
For more information about Jose Martinez and alll Milken Educator Award recipients, please visit the Milken Educator Awards website.
“In every endeavor, people make the difference, and just one person has the power to make a profound difference in the lives of so many people.” - Lowell Milken