2022-23 Milken Educators

Photo 28 of 36 NC Jessica Barnette

K-1 teacher, Rocky Point Elementary School | Rocky Point, NC

On December 13, 2022, K-1 teacher Jessica Barnette was pleased to be celebrating her birthday with a festive assembly focused on Rocky Point Elementary's music program. Little did she know there was another important reason for the gathering! We surprised the birthday girl with North Carolina's 2022 Milken Educator Award and $25,000 in front of students, colleagues, local media, and visiting dignitaries including North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt. Jessica is the first ever Milken Award recipient in Pender County Schools. "My heart dropped a little when I heard my name called!" said Jessica of her unexpected birthday present. Overwhelmed in the moment, Jessica focused on the students holding the signs representing the amount of the Award, all of whom she'd previously taught: "I just concentrated on going up to hug my kids as I took it all in."

Now in her seventh year at Rocky Point Elementary, Jessica taught kindergarten, first and fifth grades before taking on her current K-1 mixed-grade classroom. "Guiding students down the path of being a lifelong learner is what drew me to education," she said. "It's important to remember that students from any school are capable of doing extraordinary things, and our students are examples of that."


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

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2023 Milken Educator group
AL Bryan Cutter
AZ Megan Brown
AR Emily Howard
CO Tiffany Miera
CT Elaine Hill
HI Esther Kwon
ID Anna Attebury
IN Angela Fowler
IN Brittany Tinkler
KS Kristine Becker
LA Dereka Duncan
KY Charlotte Buskill
LA Corrie Campbell
LA Elise Frederic
ME Sarah Collins
MD Dion Jones
MA Leigh Beson
MS Tyler Shows
MO Vanessa Thomson
NE Lisa Moody
NV Liz Barnum
NV Jason Murray
NV Rejily Soriano
NJ Shaina Brenner
NM Christopher Nunez
NY Caitlin Garvey
NC Jessica Barnette
RI Emily Rendine
SD Abby Turbak
TN Alexa Guynes
TX Jenna Dean
TX Diana Lopez
VA Pamela Stepko
WV Andrea Trio
WY Jessica Kavitz