A professor once told Toni-Ann Palmisano (NJ '17) that the key to classroom management is not cracking a smile until December. She’s glad she ignored that advice: “I embrace my bubbly personality in the classroom because I want my students to see that no matter what age you are, it’s important just to be yourself.”
Social studies teacher Jordan McGaughey (MO ’17) hopes kids leave his class charged about learning and prepared for college-level work: “If students are passionate about what they are learning, they’ll seek out more education as they get older.”
How has the AVID experience shaped Milken Educators? In a panel discussion at the AVID national conference in December 2017, four Milken Educator Award recipients talked about the impact AVID’s college-and-career-readiness strategies have had on their own practices and their students’ success.
When a graduate school colleague convinced her to bring a bucket of organisms into a local middle school, marine biologist Tami Lunsford (DE ’17) knew she had found her purpose: “My heart kept calling me back to the classroom.”
Melanie Alfaro (NM ’17) began her career in the classroom after her son was born: “I wanted to be the type of teacher that I hoped my own children would have.” She received New Mexico’s Milken Educator Award at Deming Intermediate School on November 30, 2017.
A year later, 2016 Milken Educators reflect on the impact their Awards have made on their careers.