When Principal Meghan LeFevers (NC ’17) realized that COVID-19 was about to land with a thud on Tryon Elementary School in Bessemer City, she and her staff swung into action to make sure families’ needs would be met.
With the COVID-19 pandemic closing schools across the country, we're checking in with Milken Educators to see what's happening in their areas. Hailey Couch (OK '18) reports from Norman, Oklahoma.
At Carly Bowden (KS ’19)’s surprise Milken Award notification, two things stood out for her students: the fancy clothes, and how excited Carly’s colleagues were for her. Carly considers herself lucky: “I am truly blessed to work in a building and district that support me unconditionally.”
With the COVID-19 pandemic closing schools around the country, many educators are diving into distance learning for the first time. These elementary level activities from Virginia Milken Educator Wade Whitehead (VA '00) are perfectly suited to remote instruction.
When Shalisha Thomas (AR ’19) was in high school, the art room was her refuge, a place where she could express herself and felt at ease: “I strive daily to create that type of environment for my students.”
Each September, Ponaganset High School in North Scituate, Rhode Island, recites in unison the school’s Inclusion Pledge, which promotes acceptance, respect and unity. “We have seen an incredible benefit for our entire student body, staff and faculty,” says special education teacher Jennifer Paolantonio (RI ’19). “It has evolved into a schoolwide culture of empathy and compassion.”
Tech powerhouse Adam Parvanta (ME ’19) likes helping students hone important skills and refine their creative vision as they produce their own video content: “It’s awesome to see the look of accomplishment on their faces when they finally finish a huge project.”
Games figure prominently in the curriculum of science teacher Rachel O’Kelley (NC ’19) because they keep students engaged: “In my classroom, competition drives learning.”
Kristen Musgrove (FL ’19) tells her sixth-graders at Hilliard Middle-Senior High School that she will be their “at school Momma,” pushing them to work hard and fighting for them when necessary: “They know when they walk in my room they are loved, no matter what.”
Nate Kirsch (TN ’19) hopes his students leave his class confident in their ability to tackle tough issues: “The ability to stay put and keep fighting when things are hard will help them thrive in relationships, at work and in life.”