Teachers, district honored for their education efforts

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Two Louisiana teachers and a school district have been honored for their contributions in educating students.

According to a news release, Jennifer Williams in Jefferson Parish and Steven Gamache in New Orleans were both given the $25,000 Milken Educator Award.

And the DeSoto Parish Schools were awarded $50,000 by the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching. Both the Institute and the Milken Educator Award were founded by Lowell Milken as part of efforts to improve education.

The awards were announced Wednesday.

Williams teaches sixth grade English at John Q. Adams Middle School in Metairie and Gamache teaches English at Paul Habans Charter School.

Williams was chosen for the creative ways she engages students. For example, she has “Flashlight Fridays” where the class works by flashlight.

“Outstanding teachers like Jennifer Williams ignite a passion for learning in their students and create a nurturing environment for them to thrive,” said Milken in the news release. “Jennifer’s enthusiasm, attention to data and high expectations transfer to her work outside the classroom, where she helps drive the school’s instructional program and guides and supports fellow teachers.”

Gamache has book discussions in class that resemble college literature seminars where students discuss plot development, themes and characters from books. He’s also adept at analyzing student data to make adjustments to instruction.

“Mr. Steven Gamache is an exceptional educator. We are so fortunate that he is a part of NOLA Public Schools and can serve as an example of excellence to his fellow teachers here and around the country,” said New Orleans Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Henderson Lewis in the release.

There is no formal application process for the Milken Educator Awards. Candidates are found through a confidential selection process, and then a panel in each state reviews the candidates, the release said. The Milken Family Foundation oversees the awards and makes the final selection. The teachers can use the money however they wish. Some have used the funds to pay for their own continuing education or for their children’s education. Williams and Gamache are part of up to 40 people to receive the award across the country during the 2019-2020 school year.

Milken said the DeSoto schools had been chosen for their dedication to teachers’ professional development. The district began partnering with the Institute in 2008-2009 to improve teaching.

According to a news release, the district’s graduation rate has improved from 68% in 2008-2009 to 93% in 2018. ACT scores have also improved and the district’s overall ranking has jumped from 45 to 12, the release said.

“DeSoto Parish Schools is a model for the nation and an example of how a commitment to high-quality teaching can change the lives of students,” Milken said.


Web Only

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories

Viewed

Emailed

Recommended

Commented

Sponsor Insights

Free Ebook: How to Implement a Coding Program in Schools

Successful Intervention Builds Student Success

Effective Ways to Support Students with Dyslexia

Stop cobbling together your EdTech

Integrate Science and ELA with Informational Text

Can self-efficacy impact growth for ELLs?

Disruptive Tech Integration for Meaningful Learning

Building Community for Social Good

5 Resources on the Power of Interoperability from Unified Edtech

New campaign for UN World Teachers Day

5 Game-Changers in Today’s Digital Learning Platforms

Hiding in Plain Sight - 7 Common Signs of Dyslexia in the Classroom

The research: Reading Benchmark Assessments

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

All Students Are Language Learners: The Imagine Learning Language Advantage™

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

How to Support All Students with Equitable Pathways

2019 K-12 Digital Content Report

3-D Learning & Assessment for K–5 Science

Climate Change, LGBTQ Issues, Politics & Race: Instructional Materials for Teaching Complex Topics

Closing the Science Achievement Gap

Evidence-based Coaching: Key Driver(s) of Scalable Improvement District-Wide

Advancing Literacy with Large Print

Research Sheds New Light on the Reading Brain

Tips for Supporting English Learners Through Personalized Approaches

Response to Intervention Centered on Student Learning

The Nonnegotiable Attributes of Effective Feedback

SEE MORE Insights >