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Feb 10, 2017

MEA Surprises in HI, CA, TX

SHARE THIS: The video of our surprise notification for Kelly Sutcliffe (HI '16) will leave you smiling. Click the arrow above to watch, then use the "Share" arrow in the top right corner of the video window to share Kelly's good news with your friends.

Dear Milken Educators and Champions of Education,

In the last two weeks we've added four new superstar educators in Hawaii, California and Texas to the Milken Educator family—scroll down to meet them.

WEEKEND READING: Get to know the 2016-17 Milken Educators in their Spotlight profiles, in-depth Q&A interviews where we talk about everything from reading cereal boxes (Kara Davis AR '16) to celebrating individual students' successes (Devon Willis-Jones LA '16).

Lowell Milken congratulates Masaru Uchino 1000w

HAWAII: Third-grade teacher Masaru Uchino (HI '16) is a passionate STEM-focused educator whose students at Pearl City's Momilani Elementary follow their teacher's lead as if he were a modern-day Pied Piper. "The world is constantly changing," said Masaru at his surprise Milken Educator Award notification. "The more educated you are, the bigger your world becomes." More than a dozen veteran Milken Educators turned out to welcome Masaru to the family, and each one draped a lei around his neck (yes, he does have a neck under all those flowers). Lowell Milken thanked Masaru for making education his chosen profession: "You are truly making an impact on young people's lives."


Kelly Sutcliffe acceptance speech 1000x750

HAWAII: Fourth-grade teacher Kelly Sutcliffe (HI '16) has taught almost every grade level at Waikiki's Jefferson Elementary, where we surprised her with a 2016-17 Milken Educator Award. "Jefferson has been my family, my ohana," she said at her notification. "Teachers have a lot of different responsibilities, but at the end of the day, it doesn't matter what else I have on my plate. My students come first." Kelly's students were absolutely thrilled to see their teacher honored and crowded around her for a huge group hug.


Jessica Villanueva calls husband 1000w

CALIFORNIA: "Guess what? I'm coming home with a check for $25,000!" That's what second-grade teacher Jessica Villanueva (CA '16) told her husband when she called him from Suisun Elementary School in Suisun City. Jessica's surprise notification happened to fall on her husband's birthday—we're pretty sure this is one birthday present he's going to remember for a long time! Jessica's students thrive in her class, with all showing academic growth each year in reading, writing and mathematics.


Amber Simpson with colleagues 1000w

TEXAS: Governor Greg Abbott definitely knew how to get Barrera Elementary revved up for big Milken Educator Award reveal for TAP Master Teacher Amber Simpson (TX '16). "You have one of the best teachers in all of the United States of America! Do you want to know who that is?" They sure did! When Governor Abbott called Amber's name, the room absolutely exploded with cheers and applause. Amber works with teachers of students from kindergarten through fourth grade, driving instruction for the entire building. "It's such an honor to represent Somerset ISD," Amber said. "The kids are worth it. As long as you keep the focus on your students and their growth and progress, it makes it all worthwhile."


In this newsletter:  Amber Simpson (TX '16)Kelly Sutcliffe (HI '16)Masaru Uchino (HI '16)Jessica Villanueva (CA '16)
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