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Mary Harris

Mary Harris (LA '06)


South Highlands Elementary Magnet School
Shreveport, LA

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

At the time of the Award, Mary Harris was:

Summer Grove Elementary School
Shreveport, LA

Subject(s) taught: Reading
Grade(s): 4

Biographical Information

Mary received the Milken Award while teaching fourth grade at Summer Grove Elementary. She created and implemented innovative reading clubs in an effort to help struggling readers achieve and succeed. After receiving the Milken Award, Mary became a TAP Master Teacher at South Highlands Elementary where she mentored teachers, evaluated instruction, and modeled teaching strategies. In 2008-2009,she was accepted into the Caddo Parish Administrative Internship Program and was promoted to the position of Instructional Coordinator for Oak Park MicroSociety. Oak Park was a low performing (56.0 SPS),Title I school targeted for take over by the state. The school was showing growth(75.0 SPS)under the leadership and vision of a new principal, but was still targeted for take over. The principal hired Mary as Instructional Coordinator at Oak Park because of her TAP experience. Mary and the principal worked together to implement benchmark testing, data analysis meetings, and job- embedded professional development taken from the TAP model. Oak Park's scores rose by 24 points the first year implemented - enough to take the school out of school improvement for 2010. Oak Park's spring 2011 test results showed a gain of 9 points, which gives the high poverty,Title I school a performance score of 105.3 and letter grade of B. Mary now serves in the position of Principal at South Highlands Elementary School in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Personal Message

I continue to be amazed at what the Milken Family Foundation accomplishes and couldn’t be more grateful for what this award and family have meant in my life. The confidence and opportunities this award has afforded me has been tremendous. From sitting on national councils and boards, to speaking to Congress, to being appointed to our state educational board by the governor, I have had an unbelievable career, in which I feel I have truly made a difference. I attribute this to being named a Milken Educator and I will always look back on “my surprise day” as being the best day of my life!!!!

Related Connections

Educator Quote:

"Opportunities for Milken Educators are boundless. It's only a matter of what the person wants to do. The Award opens many, many..." (read more)