Oklahoma's Milken Educators

2018 National Milken Educator Award Recipient wins $25,000

Milken Award Winner

“We are incredibly fortunate to have educators like Ms. Couch in our district,” said Nick Migliorino, superintendent of Norman Public Schools, who was also on hand for the presentation. “Her passion for public education is palpable, and her enthusiasm for creative academic strategies is contagious. She demonstrates exceptional leadership in the field and displays unwavering support for all students. We are proud to have her – and so many others like her – in our classrooms every day.”

In addition to the $25,000 prize, the honor includes membership in the National Milken Educator Network, a group of more than 2,700 top teachers, principals and specialists dedicated to strengthening education. Couch will attend a Milken Educator Forum in New Orleans in March, where she will work with state and federal officials on advancing educator effectiveness.

The Milken Educator Awards, hailed by Teacher magazine as the “Oscars of Teaching,” has been opening minds and shaping futures for over 30 years. The initiative not only aims to reward great teachers but to celebrate, elevate and activate those innovators in the classroom who are guiding America’s next generation of leaders. Milken Educators believe “The future belongs to the educated.”

Read the full press release 

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Award Program Facts - Oklahoma
Year Program Began in Oklahoma: 2000
Number of Recipients Since Inception: 29
Total Dollars Awarded Since Inception: $700,000.00

The Awards alternate yearly between elementary and secondary educators. Unlike most teacher recognition programs, the Milken Educator Awards has no formal nomination or application process. Candidates are sourced through a confidential selection process and then reviewed by blue ribbon panels appointed by state departments of education. Those most exceptional are recommended for the Award, with final approval by the Milken Family Foundation.

Past recipients have used their Awards to fund their children’s education or their own continuing education. Others have financed dream field trips, established scholarships and even funded the adoption of children.

Recipient Name, School at Time of Award Year
Hailey Couch, Madison Elementary School, Norman 2018
Debreon Davis, Edmond North High School, Edmond 2017
Amanda Raupe, Hilldale Elementary School, Putnam City Schools 2016
No Oklahoma winners during this time. 2013 - 2015
Tammera Mittelstet, Highland Park, Will Rogers Elementaries, Stillwater 2012
Sarah Vann, Owasso Eighth Grade Center, Owasso 2011
Jennifer Evans-Lowery, Highland Park Elementary School, Midwest City-Del City 2010
Chris Brewster, Santa Fe South Charter School, Oklahoma City 2009
Ronia Davison, Sadler Arts Academy, Muskogee 2008
Shelly Unsicker, Central Junior High School, Moore 2007
Dionne Liebl, Putnam City West, Putnam City 2007
Deborah Harwell, Hugh Bish Elementary School, Lawton 2006
Lisa Brown, Harvest Hills Elementary School, Putnam City 2006
Shelley Self, Coweta High School, Coweta 2005
Jill Rumbaugh, Cheyenne Middle School, Edmond 2005
Malissa C. Barker, West Intermediate School, Jenks 2004
Pam Holland, Russell Babb Elementary School, Harrah 2004
Darryl Andrews, Yukon High School, Yukon 2003
Kasandra Lovell, Spiro High School, Spiro 2003
Kristy Crabtree, Jefferson Elementary School, Norman 2002
Ginger Mendenhall, Marshall Elementary School, Tulsa 2002
Paula L. Dyer, Mayfield Middle School, Putnam City 2001
Tim Rose, Bridge Creek High School, Blanchard 2001
Gene L. Williams, Emerson Alternative Education Center, Oklahoma City 2001
Jean Brassfield, Pershing Elementary School, Muskogee 2000
Suzanne Craig, Summit Middle School, Edmond 2000
Tracy L. Foor, Norman High School North, Norman 2000
Dee Fox, Taft Middle School, Oklahoma City 2000
Marcellus Hankins, Soldier Creek Elementary School, Midwest City 2000
Theresa Kiger, Robert B. Grove Elementary School, Tulsa 2000

For more information about the Milken Educator Awards, visit www.MilkenEducatorAwards.org or call MFF at (310) 570-4772.

To get regular updates on the surprise Milken Educator Award events, follow and use the #MilkenAward hashtag on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The Milken Educator Awards tour is on social media at www.facebook.com/milkeneducatorawardswww.twitter.com/milkenwww.youtube.com/milkenaward, and http://instagram.com/milkenfamilyfdn.



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Last updated on October 25, 2018