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Award Notification: Jessica Major (LA '15)
Port Allen Middle School
Louisiana's Jessica Major Wins Milken Educator Award
"I know that you have this motto: Be the change you wish to see," Lowell Milken, chairman and co-founder of the Milken Family Foundation, tells TAP master teacher Jessica Major as she accepts her Lousiana Milken Educator Award at Port Allen Middle School. "And you are changing young people's lives every single day."
Major has indeed led significant change in her few years at Port Allen Middle. In 2009 the school was on the Louisiana Department of Education’s Academic Watch list for low achievement. In 2011, Port Allen Middle adopted TAP: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement. An initiative of the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET), the TAP System creates an environment of increased teacher leadership, ongoing professional development, educator observation, sharing and feedback, and competitive compensation.
As a TAP master teacher, Major serves as an integral part of the leadership team with mentor teachers, other master teachers, and administrators to drive instructional improvement and student learning schoolwide. As a result of Major and her team’s work, by 2013 test scores had jumped by almost 22 points—the highest ever in the school’s history.
Watch Major's emotional response as she receives her Award at a schoolwide assembly. "This is truly one of the best days of my entire life," she tells the group.