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Milken Award Winners Team Up with Alabama MVP Educators to Positively Impact Education in Our State

December 07, 2021

Republished with permission from the Alabama Department of Education

Montgomery, Ala. – Alabama's Milken Educators are widely known for the impact they have made in their districts and across our state. Now, they are mentoring other educators, but not in the normal mentor and mentee format.

These mentees are MVPs and rightly so because they are All-Star teachers, counselors, and administrators. During this special effort, everything has a football-related theme. Our state's Milken Award winning teachers are the Coaches.

Working together they have created a new group called Alabama Milken Visionary Partnerships, or Alabama MVPs – a group of visionary educators focused on advancing education through professional development.

Alabama's Coaches are now collaborating with MVPs statewide. They are working on local education projects, improving lesson planning, and establishing new relationships with leading teachers and school experts statewide.

The MVPs are learning from the coaches, partnering with other educators throughout our state, and making this innovative team of top professionals even stronger by sharing their expertise.

At the recent Alabama MVP Homecoming held this November, local educators heard an inspirational message from State Superintendent Eric Mackey. He challenged all educators to create multiple pathways for student and school success.

"We are proud of the Alabama MVP initiative and the great opportunities that it is providing for our local educators to create new learning partnerships with top educators throughout the region," said State Superintendent Eric Mackey. "The goal is to expand teaching skills, classroom knowledge, and professional success. The Alabama MVP initiative promises to have a great impact on K-12 professional development in our state."

During the recent Alabama MVP Homecoming event, Alabama's 2005 Milken Educator, and current Assistant Director for the A+ Education Partnership Dr. Stoney Beavers also spoke on the importance of educator self-care and student well-being. 

"To be their most effective in the classroom, every educator must work to maintain a balanced life – centered on both professional and personal excellence," said Assistant Director for the A+ Education Partnership Dr. Stoney Beavers. "Self-care should be a top priority for today's educators. It allows them to be their best for students, parents, their local schools, and communities. The Alabama MVP initiative has created a wonderful opportunity for us to share this valuable information with every educator in our great state."

The Alabama MVP initiative will end in May 2022, but the special relationships it has created among educators in our state will continue.

Education administrator and Alabama MVP participant Bianca Moore also shared her personal insight about this program.

"Alabama MVP is such a wonderful network of educators," said Tarrant City Schools System Administrator and Assistant Principal Bianca Moore. "This program is focused on helping every teacher and local administrator to reach their full potential. The high level of expertise, professional development, and best practice information provided are truly helpful. The Alabama MVP initiative is positively impacting Alabama's teachers and inspiring them to achieve even greater levels of success."

The Alabama MVP effort is being led by two highly respected Alabama educators.

Dr. Dilhani Uswatte is Alabama's 2009 Milken Educator. She is the dynamic Administrator and Principal at Hoover City Schools' Rocky Ridge Elementary School.

Mrs. Heather Hurt is Alabama's 2018 Milken Educator. She is an exceptional Math, Science, and Social Studies Teacher for the Vestavia Hills City School System.

"It is such an honor to co-lead this initiative with my friend Heather Hurt," said Alabama Milken Educator Dr. Dilhani Uswatte. "We aimed to bring great minds together to help strengthen our educational agencies and positively impact our students in Alabama. While the 'game' continues, our team is off to a great start!"

Learn more about Alabama's Milken Educators at the official Milken Awards website - https://www.milkeneducatorawards.org/about/state-partners/.

To get additional information about the Alabama MVP program, contact state initiative coordinators, Dr. Dilhani Uswatte at duswatte@hoover.k12.al.us or Mrs. Heather Hurt at hurthh@vestavia.k12.al.us.


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