Oklahoma's Milken Educators

2019 National Milken Educator Award Recipient wins $25,000

Milken Award Winner

In a surprise announcement, eighth-grade teacher Brooke Lee received the national Milken Educator Award at an all-school assembly at Will Rogers Junior High in Claremore. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister was joined by Gov. Kevin Stitt and Milken Educator Awards Senior Vice President Jane Foley in presenting the prestigious award, which comes with $25,000.

“The impact Brooke has made on students and families is nothing short of extraordinary. We are so proud to have her represent Oklahoma on the national stage,” Hofmeister said. “Brooke creates an environment where her students feel safe, valued and connected, while inspiring her fellow educators to discover innovative, evidence-based strategies that bolster student outcomes.”

Lee, an English language arts teacher, is known for providing experiences to engage her students’ individual interests and using a multitude of learning strategies to meet the needs of a diverse set of learners. Last year, nearly half of Lee’s students showed an average increase of at least two years of academic growth.

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 

Watch the surprise!

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Award Program Facts - Oklahoma
Year Program Began in Oklahoma: 2000
Number of Recipients Since Inception: 30
Total Dollars Awarded Since Inception: $750,000.00

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
Brooke Lee, Will Rogers Junior High, Claremore 2019
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 December 12, 2019