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Franklin's Doucette Wins Milken Award

James Doucette, a history and law teacher at Franklin High School in Franklin, received a 2003 Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award in a surprise all-school assembly October 13, 2003.

Each of the nation’s 47 Milken educators receive a $25,000 award that they can use in any way they choose.

Wisconsin’s other 2003 Milken award winner was Edward Holmes, principal at James C. Wright Middle School in Madison.

“These outstanding educators show true dedication and make a significant contribution to the education of our children,” said State Superintendent Elizabeth Burmaster. “The Milken National Educator Awards program provides Wisconsin a tremendous opportunity to acknowledge the vision and commitment these educators bring to our schools. Additionally, the recognition these educators receive as a result of this honor may inspire young people to consider education as a career opportunity.

“Research repeatedly shows that the single most important factor in student achievement is the quality of the teacher in the classroom, so attracting dedicated young people to the profession is vital to Wisconsin’s mission to close the achievement gap and ensure success for every student,” Burmaster added.

This is the fifth year the Milken Family Foundation presented its National Educator Awards in Wisconsin. Established in 1985 with the first awards made in 1987, the Milken Family Foundation will present $2.5 million in financial awards and honor 100 outstanding educators in 47 states this year. By the end of October, the foundation will have presented $49.4 million to 1,977 exceptional educators since the Milken National Educator Awards Program began.

“By choosing to practice in the most noble and important profession, our nation’s talented educators make a lasting contribution to young people’s minds, imaginations, and characters,” said Lowell Milken, chairman and co-founder of the Milken Family Foundation. “We are proud to honor the outstanding work of these gifted educators, providing them with the recognition they so richly deserve.”

Recipients of the Milken Educator Awards are selected on the basis of numerous criteria, including exceptional educational talent as demonstrated by outstanding instructional practices in the classroom, school, and profession; outstanding accomplishment and strong long-range potential for professional and policy leadership; and an engaging and inspiring presence that motivates and impacts
students, colleagues, and the community.

The recipients will receive their $25,000 awards at the Milken Family Foundation National Education Conference, an all-expense-paid professional development conference to be held in May 2004 in Washington, D.C. The educators also are invited to join the Milken Educator Network, a coalition of top educators who have access to a variety of expert resources to help cultivate and expand innovative
programs in their classrooms, schools, and districts.

The Milken Family Foundation National Educator Awards were created to reward, retain, and attract the highest caliber professionals to our nation’s schools. The Milken Family Foundation National Educator Awards Program, dubbed the “Oscars of Teaching” by Teacher Magazine, is the largest educator awards program in the nation.

For more information, call (310) 998-2800 or visit the Milken Family Foundation Web site.

Posted October 24, 2003

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