Chad Downs (MI ’18) is passing the torch to the next generation: His new Future of Education Scholarship, funded by his Milken Educator Award prize, goes to a high school senior in his hometown who plans to teach.
Special education teacher Therese Shain (MO ’18) loves working with elementary students because their skills grow in leaps and bounds: “With the right encouragement and support, they get so excited about their learning.”
Sarah Compton (WI ’18) values the weekly professional development time she and her colleagues have built into their schedules: “I walk away feeling that I can immediately improve my classroom instruction as a result.”
Years in the classroom and as an instructional coach reinforced for Principal Rachel Tommelleo (DC ’18) the tenets she now lives by: the importance of working with urgency, listening to her gut, and putting students’ needs first.
Several times a year, Nicole Silva (NJ ’18) takes her third-graders to meet with local veterans: “Students need to know about our veterans and patriots, and why we have the liberties and rights that we do.”
Fifth-grade science and math teacher Jennifer Albert (FL ’18) leads her grade-level team and shares a special bond with her colleagues: “Our relationship motivates the whole team to work hard for each other and our students.”
After a decade working in real estate, with an infant and a toddler at home, Heather Hurt (AL ’18) went back to school to begin her career as an educator. She knows it was the right move: “Teaching is not just a job—it is my passion.”
Jennifer Reaves (WV ’18), the technology integration specialist at Morgantown’s Mylan Park Elementary, gets inspired by her colleagues: “I am pushed and motivated by what they are doing in their classrooms—and I’m innovating right alongside them.”
Wendy Shirey (NV '18) spent her first year in the classroom at a school with high poverty and high transiency—but “that little school in a tough neighborhood in Las Vegas became the place I learned to love teaching.”
Dual immersion teacher Chris Bessonette (WY ’18) tackles the achievement gap for language learners and low-income students by making vocabulary a cornerstone of his instruction: “Our knowledge of words determines our level of understanding.”