2017-18 Milken Educators

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Alaska Valerie Baalerud


When the Milken Educator Awards team surprised social studies teacher Valerie Baalerud at Eagle River High School in Anchorage School District on February 1, 2018, they had help from a very special guest: Alaska Education Commissioner Dr. Michael Johnson, himself a 2008 Alaska Milken Educator. Val's daughter Kali Spencer and husband Andrew Baalerud were on hand to witness Val's big moment—Kali is an Eagle River student and student advisory representative to the Anchorage School Board, and Andrew is a math teacher at the school.

Valerie, who teaches AP and regular history in addition to chairing the history department, works tirelessly to ensure the success of every student in every one of her classes. She is a huge part of campus life at Eagle River, coaching Model United Nations, debate club, and several sports teams, leading the school’s celebration of National History Day, and advising Eagle River’s student government. At her notification, Val thanked her colleagues and students for contributing to her success: "There are amazing things happening at Eagle River, and I’m so proud to be a part of that."


All photos should be credited to "Milken Family Foundation" unless otherwise noted.

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Alaska Valerie Baalerud
Alabama Vinny Chiaramonte
Arkansas Dawn McLain
Arizona Jonathan Cadena
California Aaron Ferguson
California Alexis King
Colorado Lisa Rodgers
Connecticut Anna Capobianco
Delaware Tami Lunsford
Florida Dale Adamson
Hawaii Ken Kang
Iowa Joni Readout
Indiana Kristen Lents
Kansas Heidi Albin
Kentucky Brooke Powers
Louisiana Angela Boxie
Louisiana Theresa Cross
Massachusetts Dan Adler
Maryland Allison Felton
Michigan Neal Cronkite
Missouri Jordan McGaughey
MS Robyn Killebrew
North Carolina Meghan LeFevers
North Dakota Adam Gehlhar
Nebraska Jon Pickinpaugh
New Jersey Maria DeBruin
New Jersey Toni Ann Palmisano
New Mexico Melanie Alfaro
New York Aja Brown
New York Andrew Franz
Ohio Maria Rodgers
Oklahoma Debreon Davis
Oregon Andria Lindsey
Pennsylvania Melanie Cole
Rhode Island Lauren Hopkins
South Carolina Erin Reichert
South Dakota Carla Diede
Tennessee Paula Franklin
Tennessee Katherine Watkins
Texas Jennifer Fuller
Texas Katie Negen
Virginia Ryan James
West Virginia Erika Klose
Wyoming Shannon Hill