Press Releases

Lowell Milken Surprises AZ Instructional Coach Jessica Zimmerman with Milken Educator Award

May 13, 2022

As an instructional coach at Valley View Leadership Academy in the Roosevelt School District, Jessica Zimmerman helps guide professional learning to strengthen educator effectiveness and increase student achievement. On May 13th, 2022, an all-school assembly transformed into a Milken Educator Award celebration of Zimmerman's impact on students and colleagues alike. 

Milken Educator Awards Founder Lowell Milken was joined by Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman to honor 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."

"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."

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.

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