Educator Profile    Educators

Leslie McIntosh (NE '23)


Syracuse-Dunbar-Avoca Middle School
Syracuse, NE

At the time of the Award, Leslie McIntosh was:

Syracuse-Dunbar-Avoca Middle School
Syracuse, NE

Subject(s) taught: Reading, English/Language Arts
Grade(s): 5

Biographical Information

You could say teaching is in Leslie McIntosh’s genes. As a fifth grade reading and English Language Arts (ELA) teacher at Syracuse-Dunbar-Avoca Middle School, her roots run deep in the Syracuse community. She grew up on a farm outside of Syracuse and graduated from Syracuse-Dunbar-Avoca High School. Her mother, a seasoned educator, continues to inspire young minds within the same district, setting the stage for her daughter to follow in her vocational footsteps.  
McIntosh uses data to inspire her educational strategies. When research indicated a decline in student scores in ELA from 2020 to 2021, she took it upon herself to develop a comprehensive school improvement plan, present it to the school board, and implement the recommended tactics in her classroom and across the entire fifth grade. Her dedication paid off: When 46 percent of students statewide demonstrated proficiency in ELA, 59 percent of the school's fifth graders exhibited proficiency in the subject under the guidance of Mrs. McIntosh.  Further, in the 2022-2023 school year, 91 percent of her fifth graders exhibited proficiency in ELA.
Her commitment to educational excellence extends beyond her classroom walls. McIntosh has helped establish a thriving teacher professional learning community, where positive feedback has led to increased attendance and engagement within the network of educators. She volunteers at her church and community events and helped coordinate the annual weeklong summer school program known as “Summer Blast,” during which students participate in engaging, diverse activities like science lab, computer coding, sewing, furniture making, and fine arts. Proceeds from the summer camp go to the school; last year, they raised more than $10,000. 
McIntosh received a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln in 2011. She attended Doane University for her postgraduate education, earning two Master of Education degrees: curriculum and instruction in 2018 and educational leadership in 2022.

Press release: Elementary Educator First in Syracuse-Dunbar-Avoca District to Receive $25,000 Milken Educator Award  



Leslie McIntosh In The News

Double Doane Grad Awarded Prestigious Milken Educator Award
Doane University  |  May 08, 2024  |  Crete, NE

Two Nebraska Educators Receive $25,000 Award for Their Teaching
KCUV-FM  |  NPR  |  Nov 22, 2023  |  Lincoln, NE

WATCH --> National Award is Latest Affirmation for 'The Rocket Way'
News Channel Nebraska  |  Nov 22, 2023  |  Nebraska City, NE

Syracuse Middle School Teacher Receives Second Milken Award for Nebraska
Omaha World-Herald  |  Nov 21, 2023  |  Omaha, NE

Syracuse Teacher Surprised with Milken Educator Award
News Channel Nebraska  |  Nov 21, 2023  |  Nebraska City, NE

Teacher Who Grew Up on Southeast Nebraska Farm is Surprised with National Milken Educator Award, and $25,000
Nebraska Examiner  |  Nov 21, 2023  |  Lincoln, NE

Syracuse Middle School Teacher Receives $25,000 Milken Educator Award
KOLN-TV  |  CBS  |  Nov 21, 2023  |  Lincoln, NE