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Nov 13, 2015

"I appreciate going to work every single day"

Lauren Jensen's smile lit up the gym at Glen Cove High School when she realized the schoolwide assembly was all about her. Watch the video to relive Jensen's special moment.

Dear Milken Educators and Champions of Education,

Our team continues to travel around the country crowning new Milken Educators and unfurling giant $25,000 checks. In the past few weeks we've handed out Milken Educator Awards to Lauren Jensen in Glen Cove, NY; Misty Ayres-Miranda in Nashville, TN; Peter Arseneault in Colchester, CT; and Michelle Ryan in Randolph, MA

Lauren Jensen is the one who actually said "I appreciate going to work every single day," which we borrowed for the subject line of this newsletter, but after talking with our newest Milken Educators, we know it could have come out of any of their mouths. 

Keep reading and click through to our photo galleries and videos for more information about this week's Milken Educator Award winners.

Lauren Jensen basks in spotlight

English teacher Lauren Jensen is so tough that some of her students made up t-shirts that said "I survived Ms. Jensen's class" — the sentiment as much a source of pride as a sigh of relief. Jensen's standards may be tough, but it's tough love for sure. "You guys give my life meaning, and you give me purpose," she told her students at the assembly where she received her surprise Milken Educator Award. "There isn't anything that I can imagine myself doing other than teaching. I live and breathe it." Photo gallery | Video


Misty Ayres-Miranda, who teaches regular, honors and AP English at Nashville School of the Arts, focuses her students on the importance of both words and music. She directs the school's Literary Arts Conservatory, through which students perform, write and produce plays and films. Ayres-Miranda's students also perform in poetry slams, enter local poetry competitions, and appear with local arts organizations like the Country Music Association and Nashville Symphony. Photo gallery | Video


Technology educator Peter Arseneault's students at Bacon Academy in Colchester build wind turbines and solar heaters, create energy-generating panels out of reclaimed materials, and provide auto repair services to teachers and community members. Arseneault called his fiancee after his surprise Award notification to share his good news: He's got an extra $25,000 for the new couple's nest egg.  Photo gallery | Video


Michelle Ryan (MA '15)

Michelle Ryan reaction

Social studies teacher Michelle Ryan has a reputation for being able to turn struggling students into star performers. Ryan is tough but beloved. For the past four years, students at Randolph High School have named Ryan both "Most Entertaining Teacher" and "Most Inspiring Teacher." She puts a lot of focus on at-risk students and played a leading role in securing a $35,000 Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation Grant, supporting 50 students who needed an alternative to the traditional high school education with online courses and remedial instruction. Photo gallery | Video


Erika Penzer Kerekes
Social Media and Online Content Manager
ekerekes@mff.org | 310-570-4771


In this newsletter:  Peter Arseneault (CT '15)Misty Ayres-Miranda (TN '15)Lauren Jensen (NY '15)Michelle Ryan (MA '15)
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