They call it the “Oscars of Teaching”. Since 1985 the Milken Family Foundation has awarded the Milken Educator Award to celebrate outstanding teachers. The Foundation’s website explains that — unlike most teacher recognition programs — the Milken Educator Awards has no formal nomination or application process. Candidates, instead, are nominated by an independent committee appointed by participating state departments of education. The winning teachers are then surprised with the award at school-wide assemblies.
With more than 1,400 students and faculty gathered in the gym at Lincoln High School in Tacoma, WA, teacher Nathan Gibbs-Bowling was awarded Washington’s 2013-14 Milken Educator Award. Gibbs-Bowling teaches AP Government and AP Human Geography. Across the country, in 40 participating states, outstanding secondary teachers will also be surprised with the award which also carries a $25,000 cash prize.
The foundation provided the following video of Gibbs-Bowling talking about how he inspires his students.
The Oregonian reports that Robert Gray Middle School teacher Teresa Chan Seidel (see photo) also took home the Milken Educator Award this year. Her award was also presented at a high-profile school-wide assembly Foundation co-founder, and former securities trader, Mike Milken presented the award to Seidel, who is pregnant with her third child.
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(Photo Credit: Nicole Dungca / The Oregonian.)