Driving Excellence in English and Social Studies Earns Lafayette Parish Teacher Corrie Campbell a $25,000 Milken Educator Award
Campbell's project-based learning boosts student engagement and achievement at Green T. Lindon Elementary School
January 25, 2023
Santa Monica, Calif., — At Green T. Lindon Elementary School in Youngsville, Louisiana, English language arts and social studies teacher Corrie Campbell does whatever it takes to give her third graders the best learning environment possible. From creating hands-on projects where students investigate and present research to advocating for field trips that build on curriculum, Campbell is always looking for new ways to improve learning outcomes. At a life-changing assembly today, Campbell was surprised with a national Milken Educator Award for her dedication to advancing excellence for all. The recognition by the Milken Family Foundation includes a $25,000 cash prize that she can use however she chooses.
Milken Educator Awards Founder Lowell Milken, joined by Louisiana Superintendent of Education Dr. Cade Brumley, presented Campbell with the prestigious honor before cheering students, appreciative colleagues, state and local dignitaries, and media. Campbell will join a national network of more than 2,900 Milken Educator Award recipients and other education leaders from across the country dedicated to strengthening K-12 education.
"Outstanding educators like Corrie Campbell create rich, tangible learning experiences that we remember for the rest of our lives," said Lowell Milken. "Though her inventive instruction, Corrie sparks imagination and inquiry while developing a firm foundation to think critically and globally. I congratulate Corrie on being both a leader and learner, and thank her for making education her chosen career."
"Corrie Campbell has a hands-on approach to teaching that's resulted in remarkable student growth and achievement," said Dr. Brumley. "Not only does she focus on reaching every child, but she also serves as a mentor to her colleagues."
As part of Lafayette Parish's partnership with the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching, Campbell supports the success of the entire school by field testing instructional strategies in her classroom, planning and facilitating clusters, and modeling best practices within grade-level content.
Campbell is the third recipient in Louisiana this 2022-23 school year. She joins Elise Frederic of Prairieville's Lakeside Primary School and Dereka Duncan of Cohn Elementary School in Port Allen, who were each awarded at assemblies yesterday. They are among up to 40 elementary educators nationwide to be recognized this season.
Hailed as the "Oscars of Teaching," Milken Educator Awards inspire and uplift with the unique stories of educators making a profound difference for students, colleagues and communities. The specific states and schools on this year's winners' list remain a closely guarded secret until each Award is announced. Recipients are heralded while early to mid-career for what they have achieved — and for the promise of what they will accomplish given the resources and opportunities inherent in the Award.
Since 1987, more than $140 million in funding, including more than $73 million in individual Awards, has been devoted to the overall Milken Awards initiative, which includes powerful professional development opportunities throughout recipients' careers.
More About Corrie Campbell
Hands-on Exploration and Enrichment: Corrie Campbell's third graders become independent thinkers in her classroom thanks to her high expectations and masterful facilitation. Campbell teaches ELA and social studies at Green T. Lindon Elementary in Louisiana's Lafayette Parish, where her students spend their days investigating, observing and searching for answers, working in small groups and using rubrics to offer suggestions to others. Social studies lessons include project-based learning, such as one unit where students decorate cereal boxes to illustrate their research on local and state festivals. When she taught science, projects about human characteristics, animal traits, magnetic forces and the environment included hands-on activities like designing and building bridges to prevent flooding.
Creative Lesson Plans: Campbell used a Tools for Schools grant to add lab safety equipment to her science classroom, where students created models to describe interactions of the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere. At her previous school in New Iberia Parish, Campbell created a fourth grade writing challenge based on the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Students examined characters’ reactions when their rights were threatened, then shared their work with peers for feedback. The writing unit served as an extended lead-up to the Newberry Award writing contest in fifth grade.
Helping Each Child Succeed: Campbell diligently analyzes students' work and exit tickets to find new ways to reach each child. She is passionate about creating equitable learning environments and has served as a mentor teacher for ELA, social studies and math teachers. Lafayette Parish works with the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching, and Campbell often field tests instructional strategies in her classroom, helps plan and facilitate clusters, and models best practices within grade-level content. Campbell's students take charge of their learning, leading classroom instruction with questioning and discussion. And they thrive in her care: As examples, in 2020-21, her students topped the district in social studies, growing in proficiency from 67% to 94%. For 2021-22, her students grew in science proficiency from 52% to 71%. Her students' ELA proficiency on the i-Ready Diagnostic grew from 46% to 63% from the beginning to middle of this year. Thanks in part to Campbell's contributions, Lindon Elementary earned an A rating from the state.
Learning in Action: Focused on teaching the whole child, Campbell lobbied for learning experiences beyond school walls, including field trips to the National WWII Museum in New Orleans. At her previous school, she created a character enrichment program where students learned about Stephen Covey's "7 Habits of Highly Effective People," putting the principles into action as they mentored peers, tended the school garden and collected canned goods for a local food bank.
Family Connections: Campbell keeps families well-informed about their children's education, sending home study guidelines with guiding questions and vocabulary and holding regular parent involvement events to share students’ work. A leader for the entire school community, Campbell is always on hand to lend a listening ear, offer an instructional strategy or share an innovative idea.
Education: Campbell earned a bachelor's in English in 2008 at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
More About the Milken Educator Awards: "The future belongs to the educated."
Along with the financial prize, recipients join the national Milken Educator Network, a group of more than 2,900 top teachers, principals and specialists. The network serves as a rich resource for fellow educators, legislators, school boards and others dedicated to excellence in education.
- The honorees will also attend an all-expenses-paid Milken Educator Awards Forum in Los Angeles this April, where they will network with their new colleagues as well as veteran Milken Educators and other education leaders about how to increase their impact on K-12 education.
- In addition, they will learn about how to become involved in the Milken Friends Forever (MFF) mentoring program, in which new Milken Educators receive personalized coaching and support from a Milken Educator veteran on ways to elevate their instructional practice and take an active role in educational leadership, policy and practice.
- Veteran Milken Educators demonstrate a wide range of leadership roles at state, national and international levels.
- "We find you. You don't find us!" Unlike most teacher recognition programs, the Milken Educator Awards initiative has no formal nomination or application process. Candidates are sourced through a confidential selection process and then reviewed by blue ribbon panels in each state. The most exceptional candidates are recommended for the Award, with final selection made by the Milken Family Foundation.
- The $25,000 cash Award is unrestricted. Recipients have used the money in diverse ways. For instance, some have spent the funds on their children's or their own continuing education, financing dream field trips, establishing scholarships, and even adopting children.
To receive regular updates on the surprise Milken Educator Award events or to watch the Award events unfold, follow and use the #MilkenAward hashtag on Facebook (@MilkenEducatorAwards), Twitter (@Milken), YouTube (/MilkenAward), Instagram (MilkenFamilyFdn), and TikTok (@MilkenAward).
For more information, visit MilkenEducatorAwards.org or call the Milken Family Foundation at (310) 570-4772.
About the Milken Educator Awards
The first Milken Educator Awards were presented by the Milken Family Foundation in 1987. Created by Lowell Milken, the Awards provide public recognition and individual financial rewards of $25,000 to elementary and secondary school teachers, principals and specialists from around the country who are furthering excellence in education. Recipients are heralded in early to mid-career for what they have achieved and for the promise of what they will accomplish. The Milken Family Foundation celebrates more than 40 years of elevating education in America and around the world. Learn more at MFF.org