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Lowell Milken and Milken Family Foundation Announce 2011 Milken Education Awards Notifications Season

March 15, 2012

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SANTA MONICA, CA (September 21, 2011) —  Schools across the nation will soon be visited by the Milken Family Foundation, which will present exemplary teachers with the surprise of a lifetime when they are honored with a $25,000 Milken Educator Award, one of education’s most prestigious and lucrative recognitions.

Hailed by Teacher Magazine as the “Oscars of Teaching,” what separates the Milken Educator Award from others is that the recipients have no idea that they will be honored.  When an educator’s name is called, thunderous applause and standing ovations erupt from excited students, thrilled colleagues and admiring dignitaries. Media surround the Award-winning teacher to capture the excitement of this unforeseen celebration. In a moment’s time, these exceptional educators gain a significant financial prize and experience the unfamiliar but well-deserved acclaim and acknowledgment they rightly merit.

“Our public education system is at the heart of America’s promise and is essential in safeguarding the American dream for future generations. With research confirming that an effective teacher is the single most important school-related factor in raising student achievement, it is clear to see the critical role that outstanding teachers play in shaping our country,” said Lowell Milken, chairman and co-founder of the Milken Family Foundation.  “We created the Milken Educator Awards to proclaim in a very public way that greatness in education must be recognized and rewarded. As the program’s motto extols, the future belongs to the educated.”

The Awards story doesn’t end with the surprise notification. New recipients are invited to join the Milken Educator Network, a group of distinguished educators whose expertise serves as a valuable resource to fellow educators, legislators, school boards and others shaping the future of education.

“While the Milken Educator Award shines a spotlight on exemplary teachers, it also serves as a beacon illuminating ever-expanding opportunities and new pathways of leadership,” said Dr. Jane Foley, senior vice president of the Milken Educator Awards and a 1994 Indiana Milken Educator.

This year marks 25 years that the Foundation has been recognizing and rewarding the noble profession of teaching through the Milken Educator Awards. Since first presented to a dozen California teachers, the program has grown to become the nation’s preeminent teacher recognition program having honored more than 2,500 teachers, principals and specialists with over $63 million in individual, unrestricted $25,000 awards. The exponential impact of the more than 2,500 outstanding teachers has helped to reform American K-12 education. The Awards alternates yearly between elementary and secondary educators. Each participating state department of education appoints an independent blue ribbon committee to review candidates that are sourced through a confidential selection process and recommend candidates to the Foundation.

You can view the 2011 Milken Educator Awards kickoff YouTube Video.  Take a peek at the surprise of a lifetime that awaits up to 40 of America’s best educators:

For more information about the Milken Educator Awards, visit or call the Foundation at (310) 570-4775.  You can follow the Foundation at, and at

An education reformer for three decades, Lowell Milken created the Milken Educator Awards to recognize exemplary teachers and established TAP™: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement to generate more talented teachers, Lowell Milken recently provided the founding gift for the Lowell Milken Institute for Business Law and Policy at UCLA School of Law.