Celebrate, elevate, activate: The theme of our 2017 Milken Educator Awards Forum in New Orleans rang true for this year's new Milken Educators. How will the connections made at the Forum help the class of 2016-17 find their voices, develop their platforms and impact the profession? Participants share their reactions to the time they spent together in New Orleans.
Hawaii Milken Educator Kelly Sutcliffe (HI '16) knows teachers are underpaid and overworked, but she believes more will stay in education when they're reminded that teaching is a labor of love: "If you keep the kids at the front of your mind and think about the direct impact you can have on their future, then all of the other stuff doesn't seem to matter."
Masaru Uchino's favorite part of the day is right before dismissal, when he connects with his third-graders for heart-to-heart talks about the day's successes: "It's an amazing feeling when you know that your students are bummed to go home and really excited to come back the next day."
Though Amara Alexander (AL '16) always preferred science to novels, her first job was teaching sixth-grade English. Vampire fiction got her hooked on books. Amara received Alabama's 2016-17 Milken Educator Award at Horizon Elementary School in Madison on November 29, 2017.