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Dec 7, 2012

Three New Giants Welcomed as Milken Educators

"Even on tough days, I never doubt that I should be teaching."  — Bobi King (TN '12)

Last week, we posed the question "whose shoulders do you stand on," and we got some great responses – several of which are shared below.  But first, let's meet the three new giants we're thrilled to call Milken Educators.

In Knoxville, Tennessee, Jane Foley welcomed third-grade teacher Bobi King to the Milken Educator family.  Bobi has always wanted to be a third-grade teacher and considers team-teaching with her third-grade teacher a highlight of her career.  Now that she's a national celebrity, students might be stopping Bobi in the halls to ask for her autograph.  Bobi's not worried, though—those who have seen the video know that she has "always wanted an Oscar."  We're just glad she chose teaching over acting.  Coincidentally, so are her students!

As an educator, Candace Ewing uses data to drive teacher performance and prepare students for a bright future.  But she was clearly caught unprepared herself when this assistant principal of Snacks Crossing Elementary School was revealed as the Indiana Milken Educator Award winner.  A native and former student of the same school district she now works in, Candace exclaimed "oh my God!" in her surprise and excitement more times than we can count!  Indiana is also where Senior Vice President of Milken Educator Awards Dr. Jane Foley received her own Milken Educator Award in 1994.  Maybe that had something to do with the impressively large Milken Educator turnout at Candace's announcement; or perhaps it was because so many of the state, local and school officials are Milken Educators themselves!  Whatever the reason, it lent an excitement that comes vividly through in the photos and the video from the day.

To finish a "giant" week, we had to go big; and you don't get much bigger than Texas!  This morning, Governor Rick Perry helped Jane Foley usher in our newest Milken Educator Kristi Plummer, a math intervention specialist from Passmore Elementary School in Alvin.  Indeed, Texas lived up to its unofficial "everything is bigger" motto.  Between Gov. Perry's buildup and the tears of veteran Milken Educators in attendance, the emotions of the announcement were definitely on a grand scale!

So what about the giants whose shoulders you stand on?  Here are some of the wonderful responses we received:

Recently honored Shasta Looper (SC '12) (‏@ShastaLooper) tweeted about two of the veteran Milken Educators that helped her see higher:

@Milken Ann Shaw and Regina Urueta allowed me the privilege of standing on their shoulders quite frequently.

Facebook brought us these three great responses:

Kevin Williams (FL '12): I stand on the shoulders of the wonderful staff and students I am blessed to work with as the instructional leader.

Anika Williams (MO '10): I feel that I stand on the shoulders of my mom and my aunts, who were teachers and principals. Growing up I saw firsthand the impact that a great teacher could have on students. I watched my mom and aunts build relationships with their parents and students. I saw them treat parents as equal partners in education. I have lost count of the number of times my mom and I have been out shopping and a former student walks up to her and thanks her for the type of teacher she was in their life. I definitely feel that these ladies set the stage for the type of educator that I am today.

Elie Shutz Gaines (AZ '04): I continue to stand on the shoulders of giants...those who have internalized knowing, and acting upon the idea, that all we do as educators should always be in the best interest of the student. These giants are in various roles, each serving an important part in the life of each child.

And via email, Debi Barrett-Hayes (FL '98) had these words of praise for the giants in her life:

I stand on the shoulders of Giants: My beautiful 4th-grade teacher, Mrs. Lilley at Armstrong Elementary in Hampton, VA, who valued humor and laughter and Ms. Annis McCabe, artist from the mountains of Virginia. They both recognized the power of creativity. Susan Weinstock, who believed that every life event, positive or negative, has a valuable lesson to embrace. Finally the FSUS Art Dream Team: Barb, Michelle, Pam & Ruthie who make it all FUN!

Thank you all for your responses.  It's heartwarming—although not at all surprising—how many credit their teachers as being the giants on whose shoulders they rose.  I hope every educator reading this (even if they're just educating their own children or grandchildren) takes it as validation of what they are doing today and what great possibilities to mold minds still lay before them. 


Boris "this is your newsletter, I just edit it" Kievsky
Notifications Newsletter Editor
Manager, Online Communications and Engagement

P.S.  The holidays (and end of terms) are starting and I know you have much to do.  Thank you for continuing to read this newsletter and taking the time out to "engage" with us.

In this newsletter:  Candace (Ewing) Nortey (IN '12)Bobi King (TN '12)Dr. Jennifer Palmer (MD '02)
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