A North DeSoto Elementary 3-5 School teacher got a big surprise this morning. Lindsey Parker received a $25,000 Milken Educator Award at a schoolwide assembly.

Jana Rausch with the Milken Family Foundation told me how the "Oscar of Teaching" recipients are chosen.

"The great thing about this award is that it's a complete surprise," Rausch said. "The educators have no clue that they have even been considered for this. We find them, they don't find us. It's a confidential process, but we work with the state and we have portfolios that come in, and we make those decisions based on our criteria."

Rausch said the award is completely unrestricted, so the educator can use it for whatever he or she wishes. She said some have chosen to use it to further their or their children's education, others to plan a big field trip for their classes, and yet others to put a down payment on a house.

But this is about more than just the cash award. These educators also become part of the Milken Family Foundation network, so they'll have powerful professional development opportunities and networking with leading education stakeholders. Plus, they get a nice obelisk to keep forever on a shelf in recognition for all their outstanding work.

DeSoto Schools Superintendent Cade Brumley was onhand to present Parker with the award.

"Mrs. Parker is a passionate, knowledgeable, and driven educator committed to our mission of ensuring learning for all students," said Dr. Brumley. "She represents the incredible instructional talent we have within our system and, with this honor, she assumes the responsibility of being a faithful ambassador for the fantastic work we’re doing in DeSoto Parish."

Listen to my interview with Dr. Brumley:

 

Photo: MFF

Parker hones her outstanding instructional skills as a master teacher in TAP: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement, a comprehensive initiative implemented districtwide that is focused on increasing educator effectiveness and improving student achievement growth. CLICK HERE to find out more about Mrs. Parker.

 

 

I caught up with Lindsey to get her reaction on winning this award:

Take a look at reaction from some past recipients and their students: