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Greenfield educator Megan Dixon receives Milken Family Foundation award

From the Department of Public Instruction

For her devotion to education, State Superintendent Elizabeth Burmaster presented Megan Dixon with a 2007 Milken National Educator Award on Tuesday (October 16, 2007), which brings with it a $25,000 unrestricted cash award.

Dixon of Milwaukee, an 8th-grade teacher and reading specialist at Greenfield Middle School, was named a 2007 Milken National Educator in a surprise all-school assembly.

Described by her colleagues as someone who is “absolutely sincere about making a difference in the life of every student,” Dixon was selected as Milken National Educator without her knowledge by a blue-ribbon panel facilitated by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. The award program was part of the Milken Family Foundation’s 21st annual national notification tour.

“Megan Dixon focuses her talent and energy on helping students learn,” Burmaster said. “She is among an elite group of educators from around the nation being rewarded by the Milken Foundation for professional excellence. It is a great honor to join the Milken Foundation in recognizing exemplary educators at the national level. Megan joins a list of outstanding Wisconsin educators who have received this honor in the past.”

Burmaster also commended the Milken National Educator Awards for focusing on the importance of quality educators and for the potential the Milken National Educator program has to inspire young people to consider education as a career. “Research repeatedly shows that the single most important school-based factor in student achievement is the quality of the teacher in the classroom. Attracting dedicated young people to the profession is vital to Wisconsin’s mission to close the achievement gap and ensure a quality education for every child,” Burmaster added.

This is the ninth year the Milken Family Foundation has presented its National Educator Awards in Wisconsin. Established in 1985 with the first awards made in 1987, the Milken Family Foundation will present $2 million in financial awards and honor up to 80 outstanding educators across the nation this year. By the end of the 2007 notification tour, the foundation will have recognized more than 2,300 exceptional educators and awarded more than $58 million since the Milken National Educator Awards program began.

“Teachers have the most important jobs in America,” said Lowell Milken, chairman and co-founder of the Milken Family Foundation. “We entrust them with the enormous responsibility of preparing our young people with the skills, knowledge, and experiences needed to be successful in a most challenging 21st century. The Milken Educator Awards say, in a very public way, that greatness in education must be recognized and rewarded.”

Recipients of the Milken Educator Awards are selected on the basis of numerous criteria, including exceptional educational talent as demonstrated 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; 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 unrestricted cash awards at the Milken National Education Conference, an all-expenses-paid professional development conference to be held next spring in Los Angeles, California The educators also are invited to join the Milken Educator Network, a voluntary association of exemplary educators and business leaders, whose expertise serves as a valuable resource to fellow educators, legislators, school boards, and others who are shaping the future of education.

The Milken National Educator Awards were created to recognize and reward the highest caliber professionals in our nation’s schools. The Milken 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) 570-4775 or visit the Milken Family Foundation Web site at

Posted October 16, 2007

Education News