Press Releases   << All Press Releases


Goshen Master Teacher Becomes First in District to Receive Milken Educator Award and $25,000 Cash Prize

Aimee Schade at West Goshen Elementary helps drive instruction and academic gains schoolwide

October 06, 2016

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Talk about a bright day! Aimee Schade was completely in the dark about the real reason of today's all-school assembly at West Goshen Elementary School … until her name was called to accept a national Milken Educator Award and its accompanying $25,000 cash prize! Schade, a master teacher at the school, is the first teacher in the district to receive the prestigious honor.

Milken Family Foundation Chairman and Co-Founder Lowell Milken, joined by Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz and Goshen Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Diane Woodworth, presented the Award before cheering students, respected colleagues, distinguished officials and the media.

Schade is among up to only 35 educators who will receive the recognition during the Milken Family Foundation's (MFF) cross-country tour. This season marks the 30th year of the Milken Educator Awards, hailed by Teacher magazine as the "Oscars of Teaching."

"Aimee Schade has honed her skills along the career pathway, taking on additional roles and responsibilities to excel as the teacher leader that she is today," said Lowell Milken. "Her careful attention to the needs of students and teachers in her school and broader community serves as a model of excellence that the Milken Educator Award represents."

"I am honored to recognize a Hoosier educator who has enriched instruction and improved outcomes for Indiana's students," said Ritz. "Aimee Schade embodies what it means to be a teacher-leader—supporting the professional development of her colleagues while developing innovative methods to individualize instruction for West Goshen Elementary School students. It is with great pleasure that I join the Milken Family Foundation in presenting Aimee with a Milken Educator Award today."

Schade plays an essential role on West Goshen Elementary's leadership team as part of TAP: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement, which is implemented districtwide. TAP is a structure that supports opportunities for career advancement, professional growth, instructionally focused accountability and competitive compensation for educators. As a TAP master teacher, Schade shares responsibilities with administrators as well as guides instructional best practices for the faculty. She digs into both student and teacher assessment data to figure out what students are learning, what they aren't, and how to address areas of need.

Schade helped lead West Goshen to gains in student achievement. Schoolwide, West Goshen earned the highest possible value-added growth score for 2014-15, a year when Indiana implemented more rigorous college and career readiness standards and statewide assessments.

Schade facilitates weekly professional development, develops and implements plans for strengthening curriculum and assessment, and conducts classroom evaluations aimed at supporting all educators to increase their teaching proficiency. She is known for her willingness to experiment to figure out what works, field testing every strategy and doing her own action research before introducing new instructional techniques to colleagues. Schade taught first, second and fourth grades and served as a TAP mentor teacher before taking on the master teacher role in 2013. She has completed primary years International Baccalaureate training in anticipation of West Goshen Elementary's transition to an IB curriculum.

Known for her leadership skills, work ethic and knowledge of instructional strategy, Schade often serves as a model among the district's TAP master teachers. She is particularly adept at helping teachers experience learning through their students' eyes and developing higher-order thinking skills crucial for success in a global economy.

Schade earned a bachelor's degree in education 2001 from Clarion University of Pennsylvania and a master's degree in elementary education in 2011 from Indiana Wesleyan University.

More information about Schade, plus links to photos and a video from today's assembly, can be found on the Milken Educator Awards website at

Milken Educators are selected in early to mid-career for what they have achieved and for the promise of what they will accomplish. In addition to the $25,000 prize and public recognition, Schade's honor includes membership in the National Milken Educator Network, a group of more than 2,700 top principals, teachers and specialists dedicated to strengthening education.

More than $138 million in funding, including $68 million in individual $25,000 awards, has been devoted to the overall Awards program, which includes powerful professional development opportunities throughout recipients' careers. Many have gone on to earn advanced degrees and be placed in prominent posts and on state and national education committees.

The Awards alternate yearly between elementary and secondary educators. Unlike most teacher recognition programs, the Milken Educator Awards has no formal nomination or application process. Candidates are sourced through a confidential selection process and then reviewed by blue ribbon panels appointed by state departments of education. Those most exceptional are recommended for the Award, with final approval by the Milken Family Foundation.

Past recipients have used their Awards to fund their children's education or their own continuing education. Others have financed dream field trips, established scholarships and even funded the adoption of children.

To get regular updates on the surprise Milken Educator Award events, follow and use the #MilkenAward hashtag on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The Milken Educator Awards tour is on social media at,,, and

For more information about the Milken Educator Awards, visit or call MFF at (310) 570-4772.

About the Milken Educator Awards
The Milken Educator Awards, created by the Milken Family Foundation, is in its 30th year. The Awards provide public recognition and individual financial rewards of $25,000 to elementary and secondary school teachers, principals and specialists from around the country who are furthering excellence in education. Recipients are heralded in early to mid-career for what they have achieved and for the promise of what they will accomplish.