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2017-18 Milken Educators

Photo 31 of 44 Ohio Maria Rodgers

MARIA RODGERS (OH '17)

Maria Rodgers, Ohio's 2017-18 Milken Educator and the first recipient from Maple Heights CSD, goes the extra mile to engage her math students at Milkovich Middle School. She often shows up in costumes that relate to her lessons, including a grass skirt, wizard hat and waitress uniform. When her previous school, Barack Obama Elementary in the same district, developed a “boot camp” to prepare students for a state assessment, Rodgers showed up in full Army fatigues and put 150 fourth- and fifth-graders through their paces for three hours with games, learning stations and modules.

On January 10, 2018, the entire Milkovich community rose to its feet and cheered when Ohio Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria called Maria's name. But after the excitement it was right back to class, where students dug into sports-related word problems. "Think Math" is prominently displayed on one wall of Maria's classroom—and that's exactly what her students learn to do.

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