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Apr 19, 2013

It's Not Us, It's You

“Hard work pays off, boys and girls; and I’m here to show you that.” — Stephanie Hawkins (IL ’12)

Dear Educators and Champions of Education,

We know we’ve been out of touch lately; it’s been over two months since we’ve written.  If you haven’t been reading about what we’ve been up to on Facebook and maybe even been inspired by our Monday morning quotes series, you may have thought we’d forgotten about you.  Well, we’ve been doing some soul-searching and we’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not us, it’s you.  You’ve changed.  Over the 25 years that we’ve been getting to know you, you’ve grown, you’ve advanced; you have inspired the nation with your desire to adapt the latest advances and adopt the latest tools available to shape the minds of our nation’s students.  We decided you deserved more; it was time for a little change on our side.  So we had some work done—a lot of work, actually—inside and out, and we really hope you'll like what you see.

Of course, we’re talking about our new website.  It’s an entirely new site, with a cleaner, faster interface, built with you in mind.  Based on our motto, “Celebrate, Elevate, Activate,” the new site makes it easier than ever to find information about the program and the Milken Educators, and to share your stories with the world. 

StephanieWe're premiering our new website with our newest Milken Educator, Stephanie Hawkins, of Joliet, IL.  Last Friday, Senior Vice President of Milken Educator Awards Dr. Jane Foley—accompanied by six Milken Educators, state, district and school officials—surprised this “no excuses” second-grade teacher in front of the entire assembled body of Lynne Thigpen Elementary.  Be sure to watch Stephanie’s acceptance speech and Dr. Foley’s inspirational request of the students. 

Stephanie also has the distinction of being our final Milken Educator Award winner of the 2012–13 notifications, which started in October with Sara Robinson and Barth Quenzer.  We are excited to welcome them all and look forward to supporting and celebrating them as they reach new heights.  You can see and learn about the entire Milken Educator freshman class on the new Educators page.  While you’re on the site learning about Stephanie, we hope you’ll try the social media buttons at the top of each page to share your favorite educator profile, photo, video; or Connections story, quote or milestone.

Stephanie HawkinsSpeaking of Connections stories, this site launch would not be complete without a fantastic new Connections article. From Obstacles to Opportunities: Coming Together to Put “Kids First” is the story of how Milken Educator Dr. Carrie Buck (NV ’08) led C.T. Sewell Elementary through a step-by-step transformation from desperation to five stars.  In the article, Carrie shares the principles that guide this principal, and how she used them to get the community, teachers and students on board to turn around a struggling school, boosting its image and its performance in the process.

Notifications may be over but that doesn’t mean the conversation is ending.  After all, we did just have this beautiful new site created as a platform to bring you the news, tools and stories that educators will love.  So stay tuned for more newsletters coming soon, check the website often and follow our updates on Facebook and Twitter for all of our (and your!) exciting developments.


Boris Kievsky
Notifications Newsletter Editor
Manager, Online Communications and Engagement

P.S. — Thanks to all of you who have enjoyed reading the newsletter this notifications cycle, especially those who have shared their thoughts and suggestions with me; keep them coming!


New Connections Article
From Obstacles to Opportunities: Coming Together to Put “Kids First”
Featuring Dr. Carrie Buck (NV ’08)

In this newsletter:  Dr. Carrie (Larson) Buck (NV '08)Stephanie Hawkins (IL '12)
Don’t miss any exciting Milken Educator Awards updates, Subscribe Now

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