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05.13.22
Jessica Zimmerman Surprised with $25,000 Milken Educator Award
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At Valley View Leadership Academy in Phoenix, AZ, Jessica Zimmerman addresses the assembly who just witnessed her receiving the Milken Educator Award

Milken Educator Awards Founder Lowell Milken was joined by Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman to honor instructional coach Jessica Zimmerman with the prestigious national recognition, which comes with an unrestricted $25,000 cash prize.

In addition to the celebration before cheering students, colleagues, state and local officials, and media, Zimmerman will join the national Milken Educator Network of more than 2,800 educators and leaders across the country dedicated to strengthening K-12 education.

Zimmerman is among more than 60 educators nationwide who will receive the Award during the 2021-22 school year and the first recipient from the Roosevelt School District. She is the second 2021 recipient from Arizona; Melissa Martin, principal of Chinle Junior School in Chinle, received a Milken Educator Award in April.

"Jessica Zimmerman is a strong instructional leader who analyzes data to drive decision-making and develops innovative strategies to meet everyone's needs," said Lowell Milken. "Beyond her school, she shares her expertise across the district – broadening her reach to the community. I commend Jessica for her daily work to create a collaborative, supportive learning environment for all."

Hailed as the "Oscars of Teaching," Milken Educator Awards inspire and uplift with the unique stories of educators making a profound difference for students, colleagues and communities. The Awards are not designated for lifetime achievement. Recipients are heralded while early to mid-career for what they have achieved — and for the promise of what they will accomplish given the resources and opportunities inherent in the Award.

"Jessica Zimmerman has spent her entire career creating opportunities for fellow teachers and students to achieve high aspirations," said Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman. "So when we faced uncertainty in the midst of a global pandemic, Zimmerman met the moment, rising above her responsibilities to ensure that these opportunities wouldn't be missed out on, especially by students."

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“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