Connections: Linking Talented Educators
Connections: Linking Talented Educators

An Educator's Letter to the Milken Family Foundation

June 1, 2015

June 1, 2015

Carrie Harper accepts Milken Educator Award from Lowell Milken

Dear Milken Family Foundation,

Thank you so much for the award and money. I am still in awe over the whole experience.

The purpose of the award is so perfect: the public recognition is important because it is positive. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read or watched negative news reports about education. There are incredible experiences happening in our schools in the United States and it’s about time we promoted those efforts.

The second part of the award's purpose is also essential—recognizing new to mid-career teachers. I am 28 years old and since I started teaching, I have seen drastic changes in the education profession. I have also seen many new to mid-career educators burn out. I have seen the greatest energy, top-notch teaching instruction and the newest research-based practices implemented by these colleagues. So, thank you for recognizing educators who are supporting and encouraging our young students to become 21st century learners.

Another part of the Milken Educator Award is the encouragement and motivation for future accomplishments. This award means many things to me. First, it validates what I do. I know now that my instruction and care for students and their parents is indeed the correct course of action. I am now more confident and eager to share with others how to positively impact education.

I can now set goals that I had never dreamed of. I could work more directly with the Colorado Department of Education. I could progress to a level of making policy decisions about education. I could even write a book. I am dreaming big.

Now, I realize that I can impact students, families and education not just at my school, but also at the district, state and national level. Thank you for giving me this hope.

This letter is grossly inadequate in showing how grateful I am, but I hope it expresses a glimpse of my overwhelming feelings of gratitude toward the Milken Family Foundation and this incredible honor.

Thank you,

Carrie Harper (CO ’14)

See photos from Carrie's Milken Educator Award assembly and watch the best moments from the event. 

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