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Rhonda Burrage (MS '15)
Magnolia Middle School
Mississippi's 2015-16 Milken Educator is Math Teacher Rhonda Burrage
A seemingly ordinary morning assembly at Magnolia Middle School turned into a career-changing day for math teacher Rhonda Burrage when the Milken Family Foundation surprised her with Mississippi's 2015-16 Milken Educator Award and a check for $25,000.
Burrage, who has not missed a day at school in seven years, is a mentor for new teachers, serves on the school leadership team, and coordinates community service projects for the school's BETA club. Outside of the classroom, she tutors local students in the city and county schools.
Each year outstanding educators around the country receive their Milken Educator Awards in surprise notifications at school-wide assemblies. "The beauty for me in these surprises is the reaction of the children when the teacher's name is said," remarked Dr. Carey Wright, Mississippi state superintendent of education. "This outpouring of cheering...just signals to you that you've definitely picked the right teacher, that they're that excited about it."
And Burrage's students agree. "She is an incredible teacher," said one student. "She pushes us to do better."