The Milken Educator Awards, created in 1987 by Lowell Milken, is the nation’s preeminent teacher recognition program. Nearly 3,000 exemplary teachers, principals and specialists have been surprised with individual, unrestricted $25,000 prizes. Recipients are heralded early to mid-career for what they have achieved—and for the promise of what they will accomplish in the future. Honorees join the national Milken Educator Network, a group whose expertise is a valuable resource to those shaping the future of education.
Recipients are caught by surprise when their names are announced at emotional all-school assemblies in front of cheering students, proud colleagues, distinguished officials and the media. There’s a reason why many call the Milken Educator Awards the "Oscars of Teaching"—new Milken Educators have even been asked for autographs by admiring students! And while the celebrity treatment is well-deserved, the Awards aren’t about the glitz and glamour. They’re about bringing attention to these classroom heroes; serving at once as validation, motivation and inspiration to current and future quality educators. The message: We recognize you. We value you. We thank you.