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Award Notification: Brittany Matsushino (AZ '15)
Cienega High School
Surprise! Brittany Matsushino Wins AZ Milken Educator Award
English teacher Brittany Matsushino leads her 10th-grade students at Cienega High School in Vail, Arizona, in research, analysis and writing exercises exploring their real-life heroes. On this day, though, it's Matsushino's turn to be the hero, as Milken Family Foundation Chairman and Co-Founder Lowell Milken, joined by Arizona Deputy Superintendent Shari Zara, honors Matsushino's outstanding contributions with a 2015-16 Milken Educator Award.
Matsushino's colleagues say her 10th-grade students come into their junior years extremely well-prepared. Standardized test scores tell the same story: Eighty-nine percent of Matsushino's students passed their state AIMS reading tests in 2014, compared with the state average of 28%. Her students excel in writing as well, with 76% passing for writing, compared with the state average of 39%.
Matsushino is also full of school spirit, serving as one of the advisors for the school's student council. In fact, an unwitting Matsushino helped decorate the gym for her own surprise assembly earlier in the day she received her Milken Educator Award.