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Apr 18, 2014

35 Positive Signs for the Future of Our Country

“You can see the future of our country by visiting our schools.” Milken Family Foundation Co-Founder Mike Milken

Dear Champions of Education,

As we all know, great educators aren’t created in a vacuum. They are often inspired by teachers in their own lives who show them the value of education and then work tirelessly to become invaluable educators themselves. They need the support, encouragement and responsibility that helps them become difference-makers in the lives of their students. On Tuesday, April 15, Milken Family Foundation Co-Founder Mike Milken publically thanked two such educators—the final two of the 2013–14 Milken Educator Awards class: Nathan Gibbs-Bowling (WA '13) and Teresa Chan Seidel (OR '13).

Nathan Gibbs BowlingMike and the Milken Educator Awards notifications team started off the day at Lincoln High School in Tacoma, Washington. There, they got the help of U.S. Senator Patty Murray, distinguished as the only member of the U.S. Senate to have been a pre-school teacher; Mayor Marilyn Strickland, described as the “First Lady of Lincoln High” because she’s also married to the principal; many other VIPs and, of course, a cadre of Milken Educators, Milken Scholars, news crews and student volunteers to celebrate the inspiring achievements of social studies teacher Nathan Gibbs-Bowling. It wasn’t just the shock of hearing his name that made Nathan take a little longer to get up to the front of the assembly than most; it was also due to the fact that his students literally piled on congratulatory hugs (video) in delight. 

Get to know Nathan Gibbs-Bowling (WA '13), see the photos, videos and news stories >>


Teresa Chan SeidelCrossing over to Oregon for the afternoon, the second and final phenomenal educator surprised with a $25,000 check—a welcome bonus on tax day—was Teresa Chan Seidel of Robert Gray Middle School in Portland. The clearly adored math teacher had to go through a few hugs and walls of high-fives (video) of her own as she made her way up to accept the award from Mike, First Lady of Portland Nancy Hales and Oregon Deputy Superintendent Rob Saxton. Teresa’s students couldn’t help but gush over their experience under her tutelage. One grateful student took the microphone (photo) to tell the entire school (and the rolling cameras) how Teresa changed her entire perception of math. 

Get to know Teresa Chan Seidel (OR '13), see the photos, video and news stories >>


Judging by our new (and veteran) Milken Educators—their schools, colleagues, classrooms and most importantly, their students—there is much to be celebrated in the work that educators are doing today, and the benefits to our country tomorrow. As the Milken Educator Award motto extols, “the future belongs to the educated.” With hardworking, passionate educators like the 35 we welcomed to the Milken Educator family in 2013–14, the future looks good. For that, we thank you.

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

PS - Notifications are over for this year, but there is much more news to come and excitement to share, so stay tuned!

In this newsletter:  Nathan Gibbs-Bowling (WA '13)Teresa Chan Seidel (OR '13)
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