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About the Program

Program information about the Milken Family Foundation National Educator Awards.

Each year, a handful of up-and-coming California educators is selected by the Milken Family Foundation for this significant award. The majority of recipients are classroom teachers who are relatively new to the profession. State Departments of Education across the nation assist in some aspects of candidate screening and notification on behalf of this non-profit foundation. There is no nomination process for this award.

The Milken Family Foundation National Educator Awards program provides public recognition and financial rewards to elementary and secondary schoolteachers, principals and other education professionals who are furthering excellence in education. By honoring outstanding educators, the program strives to attract, develop, motivate and retain talented people to the challenge and adventure of teaching.

In the early 1980s, education pioneer Lowell Milken conceived and created an awards program to acknowledge educators' crucial contributions to our national well-being. His main belief was–and is–that an effective way to advance the teaching profession is to reward educators' achievements, enhance their resources, and expand their professional interests.

Outstanding educators who continue to learn are essential to the fostering of student growth, the improvement of schools and the enhancement of the education profession. Hence, the goals of the Milken Educator Awards are:

  • To honor and reward outstanding K-12 educators for the quality of their teaching, their professional leadership, their engagement with families and the community, and their potential for even greater contributions to the healthy development of children.

  • To focus public attention on the importance of excellent educators.

  • To encourage able, caring and creative people to choose the challenge, service and adventure of teaching as a career.

  • To create national and state networks of Milken Educators that:

    • foster the active professional development and career enhancement of Milken Educators and other professionals,

    • encourage Milken Educators to help shape the educational policies that influence their classrooms and schools,

    • connect Milken Educators with the educational improvement efforts of state and federal education agencies, universities, educators, corporate partners and others.

  • To engage corporate and foundation partners in assisting Milken Educators and in supporting policies that advance education

For further information about this program, please see the Milken Family Foundation National Educator Awards [] External link opens in new window or tab. web page.

Questions:   Dina Fong | | 916-319-0551
Last Reviewed: Thursday, April 8, 2021