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Jan 12, 2015

Happy New Year with Happy New Educators!

The educator “All-Star Team” (a.k.a., the Milken Educator Network) gets a new member: Michelle Johnson, second-grade teacher at Seaton Elementary in Washington, DC. Pictured, from left: Mark Miazga (MD ‘13), Rachel Willis (GA '10), Michelle Johnson (DC ’14), Jacqueline Simms (DC '12), Kena Allison (DC '13) and Milken Family Foundation Co-Founder Mike Milken.

Dear Milken Educators and Champions of Education,

We hope you had a wonderful holiday, recharging yourselves and your passion for education. The Milken Educator Awards team did just that and we could hardly wait to get back to one of our favorite activities: honoring outstanding educators. Milken Family Foundation Co-Founder Mike Milken started off the year for us in a “capitol” way, announcing the 2014–15 Milken Educator for Washington, DC. Then, Dr. Jane Foley picked up her countrywide tour, getting some help from Florida First Lady Ann Scott in recognizing a gem of a teacher on Florida’s Treasure Coast.

Michelle Johnson (DC '14)
Second-Grade Teacher at Seaton Elementary in Washington, DC

Michelle Johnson and Mike Milken

One fact about Michelle: She’s known for her use of the “whole brain teaching” technique in which every action and verbal direction is coupled with a physical movement that allows students to internalize information and stay engaged. It must be working, because her students (like the ones hugging her in our photo gallery) advanced five book levels last year.

Don’t miss: Mike Milken welcoming Michelle and her heartwarming response (video).

Nardi Routten (FL '14)
Fourth-Grade Teacher at Frances K. Sweet Elementary School in Fort Pierce, FL

Nardi Routten

One fact about Nardi: Nardi doesn’t give up on any student. Her colleagues don’t know how she finds the time, but she’s always looking for lessons and strategies to reach that one additional student who she couldn’t reach before. About one-quarter of Nardi’s kids are special education students. Even with this challenge, Routten’s classes routinely score among the highest in her school and district.

Don’t miss: The outpouring of support from her community in the comments section below her emotional video.

We encourage you to get to know these two newest members of the Milken family. There’s so much more we can say about them, but we have to go get ready to welcome three more educators this week. So reach out and contact them, leave a comment or a note on our social media channels, and stay tuned for more exciting news!


Boris Kievsky
Newsletter Editor

In this newsletter:  Michelle Johnson (DC '14)Nardi Routten (FL '14)
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