First grade teacher Abby Turbak doesn’t remember teachers building meaningful relationships with her when she was a student. That’s part of what motivated her to pursue education: “I wanted to be that teacher for my kids.”
Fourth grade teacher Christopher Nunez believes that his Milken Educator Award surprise will be a “forever memory” for the students who witnessed it: “They’ll always understand that being a teacher can truly be an honor.”
Kindergarten teacher Jessica Kavitz incorporates a lot of physical activity into her class to keep her young students engaged and ready to learn: “Everybody is happier when they’re moving and dancing!”
Positive childhood experiences form a responsible and thriving citizen,” says fifth grade math teacher Tyler Shows. “If I can be a positive influence in even a small way for my students, it’s worth every bit of the work.”
The relationships Jessica Barnette builds with her K-1 students endure long after they move up: “I will always be there to support and encourage them, even after they have left my classroom.”
"My time as a principal made me a better teacher and a stronger leader," says Brian Allman (WV '19). Teaching social studies at Buckhannon-Upshur High School is a full-circle experience — some of his ninth graders witnessed his Milken Award surprise as middle schoolers.
Jamie Karaffa (ME ’21) reminds us of the importance of human connection: “We truly need each other to find joy.”
West Virginia’s Milken Educators convene to tackle the state’s teacher shortage.
Be brave, be forgiving, be yourself: Classroom veteran Jane Fung (CA '02) shares advice for teachers beginning their careers.
Dr. Renee Richardson (NJ '08) leads pre-K and kindergarten students in a yearlong foray into problem-based learning.