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Lafayette teacher Angela Boxie wins $25,000 Milken Educator Award

Boxie empowers her students to become a "community of learners"

December 07, 2017

SANTA MONICA, Calif., — Sixth-grade Louisiana math teacher Angela Boxie is a community leader both on and beyond the Edgar Martin Middle School campus in the Lafayette Parish School System. At school, she is the math department chair, sixth-grade team leader, math club sponsor and girls' basketball coach. Out in the community, she volunteers at the local library and has participated in a summer camp program for Advancing Mathematics Excellence, aiding high-performing math students from low-performing schools. Her math mastery benefits the entire district as Boxie participates in policy decisions that ensure quality math instruction for students and resources for teachers.

Boxie's many skills added up at an all-school assembly today, where Milken Family Foundation Chairman and Co-Founder Lowell Milken surprised Boxie as a recipient of the prestigious Milken Educator Award. Greg Theriot, serving Lafayette in the Louisiana Department of Education, participated in the public fanfare celebrating Boxie, along with a gymnasium packed with cheering students, peers, visiting dignitaries and media.

The Milken Educator Awards, hailed by Teacher magazine as the "Oscars of Teaching" has been opening minds and shaping futures for 30 years. Research shows teacher quality is the driving in-school factor behind student growth and achievement. The initiative not only aims to reward great teachers, but to celebrate, elevate and activate those innovators in the classroom who are guiding America's next generation of leaders. Milken Educators believe, "The future belongs to the educated."

Boxie is among 44 2017-18 Milken Educators in the nation and the first from the Lafayette Parish School System.

"Angela Boxie is a tireless champion for reaching every student," said Milken. "Her practices of reflecting and revising instructional methodologies are shared with fellow faculty and enhance success for the whole school. I am confident that Angela will profoundly impact future generations of students, and I look forward to having an instructor of her caliber enter and contribute to the Milken Educator Network."

Boxie considers it her greatest accomplishment whenever a student declares, "I enjoy math." Her student-centered conceptual approach utilizes real-life scenarios and problem-solving opportunities that empower students to be a "community of learners" with her as the facilitator. As a result, the math index for her regular education classes was ranked among the top 25 percent in the district while her advanced class ranked in the top one percent. Her sixth-grade math scores typically exceed district averages by 24 percent and the state's by 32 percent.

Louisiana Superintendent of Education John White offered his congratulations.

"It is no small feat to get sixth-graders excited about learning math, yet Angela has done just that and more," said White. "She has created a trusting, positive and respectful work environment in her classroom, her school and her community, empowering her students and peers alike to achieve more than they thought possible. She is deserving of this award, and we are proud to call her a Louisiana educator."

In addition to her leadership positions at the school, Boxie is a dedicated presenter during teacher in-services and state conferences. She mentors new teachers as well as field students from her alma mater, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She was among only 17 teachers who qualified for the Louisiana Department of Education's Elementary Mathematics Specialist certification in 2015. This credential is known to signify a level of proficiency in mathematics and content knowledge that parallels only a select group of teaching professionals.

Boxie earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education in 2002 and a Master of Education in Educational Leadership in 2011, both from Southern University and A&M College. She earned a Master's +30 and Math Specialist Certification from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2015. Boxie is a member of both the Louisiana Association of Teachers of Mathematics (LATM) and the National Council of Teaching Mathematics (NCTM).

More information about Boxie, 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, Boxie's honor includes membership in the National Milken Educator Network, a group of more than 2,700 top teachers, principals and specialists dedicated to strengthening education.

In addition to participation in the Milken Educator Network, 2017-18 recipients will attend a Milken Educator Forum in Washington, D.C., March 20-23, 2018. Educators will have the opportunity to network with their new colleagues and hear from state and federal officials about maximizing their leadership roles to advance educator effectiveness.

More than $138 million in funding, including $68 million in individual $25,000 awards, has been devoted to the overall Awards initiative, which includes powerful professional learning 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 Award is completely unique: Educators cannot apply for this recognition and do not even know they are under consideration. Candidates are sourced through a confidential selection process and then are 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 very first Milken Educator Awards were presented by the Milken Family Foundation 30 years ago in 1987. 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.