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Regina McLoud, (503) 947-5803

December 4, 2008

Portland Educator Receives Milken National Educator Award – and $25,000

SALEM – State Schools Superintendent Susan Castillo announced today that 1st grade teacher Bonnie Robb (Clark K-8@Binnsmead, Portland Public Schools) has been selected as a recipient of the Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award – and will receive a $25,000 cash award.

Superintendent Castillo and Dr. Jane Foley, Senior Vice President, Milken Educator Awards, Milken Family Foundation made the surprise award announcement at an all-school assembly on Thursday morning.

“The single most important factor in student achievement is the quality of the instruction in the classroom,” Castillo said. “Oftentimes the excellent educators who provide that education go unrecognized. The Milken National Educator Award provides the recognition these great educators deserve.”

“Highly effective teachers are the bedrock in constructing a world-class education system that meets our challenges and opportunities in this 21st century,” said Milken Family Foundation Chairman and Co-Founder Lowell Milken. “It is a national imperative that we attract, retain and motivate people of talent to the profession. America’s prosperity depends on it.”

Bonnie implements effective instructional strategies to meet the needs of her diverse community of learners. With 40% of her students identified as ELL, and 80% receiving free/reduced lunch due to poverty, Bonnie is challenged to meet/exceed state and district standards, but manages to get 80% plus of her students to meet/exceed benchmark in reading, writing, and math each year.

“To gain understanding of effective instructional practices, Bonnie engages in continuous professional development including English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and Reading Endorsement programs. Bonnie is a very accomplished educator having been published in ESL Magazine and co-authoring the book, Make it Visual in the Classroom,” said Castillo.

“As a 1994 Indiana recipient of the Milken Educator Award, it is a particular pleasure and honor to represent the Milken Family Foundation and accompany Superintendent Castillo today and recognize Bonnie as a representative of the finest in the teaching profession for both Oregon and the entire country,” said Foley.

Oregon is one of 48 states and the District of Columbia participating in the Milken Educator Awards program. Since joining the program in 1990, 70 (includes the 2008 recipient) Oregon educators have received over $1.725 million in recognition of their achievement on behalf of students. In addition to the unrestricted $25,000 financial award, each Milken Educator Award recipient becomes a member of an elite group of nationally recognized awardees called the Milken Educator Network, totaling over 2,300 top educators from around the country. The award recipient also receives an all-expense-paid trip to Los Angeles, CA to participate in the annual Milken Family Foundation National Education Conference.

Recipients of the award are recommended to the Foundation by an independent blue ribbon panel appointed by each participating state’s department of education. Criteria include exceptional educational talent as evidenced by effective instructional practices and student learning results in the classroom and school; exemplary educational accomplishments beyond the classroom that provide models of excellence for the profession; and an engaging and inspiring presence that motivates and impacts students, colleagues, and the community. The Milken Educator Awards were established in 1985 by Lowell Milken to reward, retain, and attract the highest caliber teachers in the profession. Today, the Milken Educator Awards is the nation’s largest teacher recognition program.

Susan Castillo, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Gene Evans, Communications Director, Telephone (503) 947-5737

Oregon Department of Education News Releases contain information that was originally released to the press as an official release.  Refer to each News Release for the details.

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255 Capitol Street NE
Salem, OR 97310-0203

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