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Nov 27, 2013

Giving Thanks to Educators

Milken Family Foundation Co-Founder Mike Milken asks for volunteers at Apollo Middle School to help him demonstrate how to thank a teacher.

Dear Champions of Education,

Thanksgiving week is a short but important week, so this will be a short but important newsletter. We have two new Milken Educators to welcome and be grateful for and a message of “thanks” from one educator to another that we just had to share.

Luis EspinosaOn Monday, at Apollo Middle School in Hollywood, FL, STEM teacher Luis Espinosa (FL ’13)‘s rocket-fueled career was given a Milken Educator Award boost, when he was surprised by Milken Family Foundation Co-Founder Mike Milken. Luis was temporarily taken aback (photos) by the very public “Thank You” delivered by Mike, but it did not go unappreciated. Having just finished his master’s in education, Luis told the crowd: “This is confirmation that I did go into the right career.” Indeed you did, Luis, and you can add us to the list of students and faculty peers who are grateful for that decision.

Kevin WitteOn Tuesday, Dr. Jane Foley (IN ’94) and the Milken Educator Awards crew enlisted the help of Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman and First Lady Sally Ganem to give Kevin Witte (NE ’13) an early start to Thanksgiving. Kevin is a social studies teacher who likes to “think global and act local.” As his students (who all rose to their feet applauding him) graduate with a better knowledge of the world they’re entering, we have no doubt that Kevin’s local influence at Kearney High School will have global repercussions in the years to come.

Finally, we’d like to send you into the Thanksgiving holiday by borrowing some words of gratitude received just this week through the Milken Educator Awards website.

To: Barbara Weston (SC ’95)

Hello Mrs. Weston,

My name is Radiah McLean. I am one of your former students from Keenan High School class of 1990. I was a student in your 9th grade college prep English class (1987). I just want to say thank you for being a great teacher to me. I want to let you know that because of you, I am a teacher myself and have been for the last 16 years. I teach here in Atlanta, GA but I have also taught in NC and FL. So, again, thank you. You inspired me more than you will ever know.

—Radiah McLean

That sums up so perfectly what we want to say: the impact that you are all having and the appreciation that you so richly deserve.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, from Lowell, Mike and the entire Milken Educator Awards family!

Boris Kievsky
Newsletter Editor
Manager, Online Communications and Engagement
Milken Family Foundation

PS – If you’d like to say “thank you” to Milken Educator Awards, please like us on Facebook.

In this newsletter:  Luis Espinosa (FL '13)Kevin Witte (NE '13)
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