May 26, 2018
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22 Minority Teachers Among the Nation's Finests

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                              


Twenty-two African American, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander
and Native American Teachers travel to
Los Angeles
 to receive prestigious $25,000 Milken Educator Awards


Milken Educator Awards celebrate, elevate and activate America's exceptional K-12 educators


SANTA MONICA, CA (April 13, 2009) Seventy new Milken National Educators, a dozen of whom are African American, six of whom are Hispanic, four of whom are Asian/Pacific Islander and one Native American, will travel to Los Angeles from all parts of the country, to participate in the prestigious Milken National Education / Teacher Advancement Program™ Conference.


The event —April 17–19, 2009, at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles, CA—will connect education reform leaders and policymakers with hundreds of America's most effective teachers and administrators to address the urgent need for high-quality teachers. Two prominent education entities renowned for their expertise in strengthening America's K-12 schools are joining forces to host the conference which is focused on Comprehensive Teacher Quality Reform: Policy and Practice for a New Era. The Milken Family Foundation, which for two decades has sponsored one of the nation's premier education conferences, is teaming with the 9th Annual National Teacher Advancement Program (TAP)™ Conference to share bold education reform practices praised by President Obama.


Conference panels will explore the successes and challenges of implementing education reforms; how federal, state and local leaders are effectively incorporating human capital strategies into their education agendas; and the impact of the stimulus package in introducing and sustaining such systems. Also taking learning to the next level, veteran Milken Educator Award recipients will share their exemplary teaching techniques during sessions on science, math, and teaching respect and understanding through project-based learning.


A conference highlight will be the presentation of unrestricted $25,000 Milken Educator Awards (MEA) to 70 of America's most outstanding elementary educators at a gala celebration on Saturday evening. Dubbed the "Oscars of Teaching" by Teacher Magazine, the Awards have bestowed $60 million on more than 2,300 teachers, who join the national Milken Educator Network, dedicated to strengthening teacher quality in America.


"The most important investment America can make to raise achievement for all students is to institute proven comprehensive reform that attracts, develops and retains high-caliber educators," said Foundation Chairman and education reform pioneer Lowell Milken. "Our nation's clarion call must be to ensure that every student in America is taught by a talented teacher every year he or she is in school. It is the keystone to revitalizing 21st century America."


To discuss the opportunity to interview any/all of these dynamic educators, please contact me. Visit, for a conference release, schedule and press materials.


Downloadable photos from the conference and Awards Night will be available on or before 4/20 at


The Milken Family Foundation Web site offers short biographies of each educator, plus photos and videos from their surprise notifications.


African American Educators:                               Hispanic Educators:


Tracey Cross, St. Paul, MN                                     Grace Griffin, Camden, CT

Lynn Foy, New Orleans, LA                                    Vanessa Martinez, Wichita, KS

Andrea King, Lithonia, GA                                       Marissa Ochoa, Poway, CA

Nicole Law, Indianapolis, IN                                    Claudia Peña, Alamo, TX

Myra Morgan, Warsaw, KY                                                Jennifer Svans, Mesa, AZ

Renee Richardson Bachia, East Orange, NJ              Zulema Williams Santa Ana, San Benito, TX

LaKenya Sanders-Sharpe, Miami, FL                                  

Crystal Simpson, Omaha, NE                                   Asian/Pacific Islander Educators:

Recharta Walston, Virginia Beach, VA                     Stephanie Glover, Montgomery, AL

Cheryl Watkins, Chicago, IL                                    Shannon Harvey, Renton, WA

Aaron Wilson, Hattiesburg, MS                                Shannon Landefeld, Bowie, MD

Kelly Woods, Minneapolis, MN                                Mindy Yip, San Francisco, CA


Native American Educator: Ronia Davison, Muskogee, OK



Follow the Milken Family Foundation on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter via



About the Milken Educator Awards and the Teacher Advancement Program:


The Milken Educator Awards and Teacher Advancement Program represent Lowell Milken's two-pronged approach to strengthening the American K-12 system. While the Milken Educator Awards profile teaching excellence with the nation's largest teacher recognition program launched in 1985, TAP works to expand such excellence by developing the talent necessary to increase student learning. 


In President Barack Obama's first major education address (3/10/09), he highlighted TAP's "promising work" to ensure that "anyone entrusted with educating our children is doing the job as well as it can be done." TAP's comprehensive system integrates career advancement, ongoing professional development, fair and transparent teacher accountability and performance pay. Introduced by Lowell Milken in 1999, TAP now impacts over 6,200 teachers and 72,000 students. Demand, particularly in challenging urban environments such as Chicago and New Orleans, is growing rapidly, thanks to measurable student achievement gains and TAP's ability to restructure teaching as a highly rewarding career choice.


Contact: Barbara Bowers,

                                                                                    (310) 570-4773 office, (310) 488-3994 cell

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