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Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes Welcomes Second Week of 2023 Fellows to Fort Scott, Kansas

Educators will collaborate in project-based learning to discover, develop and communicate stories of Unsung Heroes from history

June 25, 2023

FORT SCOTT, Kan. – The Lowell Milken Center (LMC) for Unsung Heroes, an international educational nonprofit in Fort Scott, Kansas, has awarded its prestigious Fellowship to 12 educators from Louisiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Ukraine. The Fellowship is divided into two cohorts. Six educators collaborated with LMC staff last week, and six will do so this week. 

The LMC Fellowship is a merit-based award for educators of all disciplines who value the importance of teaching respect and understanding through project-based learning. LMC selects exemplary teachers from the U.S. and around the world who will collaborate on projects that discover, develop and communicate the stories of Unsung Heroes in history. 

The six extraordinary LMC Fellows in Week 2, beginning June 25, are:

Jennifer Farr, a 5th grade teacher at Lincoln Elementary in Junction City, Kansas, is a 2017 Kansas Teacher of the Year Finalist. As an ambassador on the team of Teacher of the Year (TOY) finalists, Jennifer has been able to learn from and share with other outstanding teachers. She is passionate about celebrating educators and serves on the Kansas LEADS and regional KTOY executive teams, which both allow her the opportunity to elevate the profession. Jennifer's passion for education is clearly visible in her elementary classroom. Her many years of experience in 4th and 5th grade classrooms have only strengthened her compassion for her students. Knowing that the relationships she builds with the children in her classes can help to change their lives emotionally, socially and academically is an extremely gratifying and humbling experience for her. 

Ali Jun, a music specialist at Tyrone Thompson Elementary School in Las Vegas, Nevada, is a 2021 Nevada Milken Educator. Ali’s Award recognized her excellence in arts education and her enthusiasm for learning, which is shared not only with her students, but also with her colleagues and the community. Ali serves on the Portrait of a Nevada Learner Committee and the Superintendent's Teacher Advisory Cabinet. Ali's positivity and uplifting spirit provide a safe and caring learning environment for her students. It is within this environment that students gain self-confidence and learn to use their creative abilities, whether it be trying new instruments for the first time or singing beyond what they thought possible. The critical thinking skills and emotional expression they develop benefit their learning in every area of the curriculum.

Victoria Lightfoot, most recently a 3rd grade teacher and currently an instructional coach in Raleigh, North Carolina, received the honor of being a 2021 North Carolina Milken Educator. Devoted to education, Victoria's powerful teaching skills made a significant and measurable difference in her students' learning, and also empowered other teachers. Her outstanding work with students on projects has encouraged her colleagues to follow her lead. After 11 years in the classroom, Victoria's transition to instructional coach has enabled her to share the successes she had with her students to help increase achievement throughout the school. The creative and engaging activities that motivated her students to high levels of learning are now shared with other educators while Victoria models, co-teaches and collaborates with them. She observes lessons and provides feedback focused on success for all. 

Kateryna Molodyk was a Global Teacher Award finalist in 2021, with the outstanding distinction of being the youngest teacher ever chosen for this prestigious award. She currently serves as assistant director of Ukrainian languages and literature for students in Cherkasy, Ukraine. Her creativity and ingenuity in planning educational activities for her 5th through 12th grade students is of prime importance to her, as she believes her students need education now more than ever. While continuing to teach under much duress at this time of war in her country can be challenging, Kateryna perseveres with compassion and understanding for her students. 

Lesley Snyder received the 2021 South Carolina Milken Educator while she was teaching English at Dutch Fork Middle School in Irmo, South Carolina. This past school year she was on sabbatical, working as a teacher leader in residence for special grant projects and research with the University of South Carolina. As a middle school teacher, Lesley created innovative, purposeful learning experiences that motivated and engaged her students. Incorporating project-based learning was important to her success in providing real-world connections and passion projects for her students. Her zeal for diverse instruction motivated all learners to reach their potential and contributed to high levels of achievement at Dutch Fork Middle School. With her love of education, Lesley takes advantage of opportunities to share her skills with fellow educators. 

Michelle Wolfe, an English teacher at East Hardy High School in Baker, West Virginia, is the 2021 West Virginia Milken Award recipient. She is also a National Board Certified Teacher. Michelle has shared her personal love of writing, literature and poetry with her students. Helping them to understand the importance of what they have to say and the relevance of their experiences makes it possible for them to relate to the world outside of the classroom. Michelle's students not only excel in writing, but also learn to visualize the opportunities possible for their future. 

While in Fort Scott, LMC Fellows gain knowledge, educational resources and support in helping students cultivate a passion for learning through the creation of projects that initiate positive change. Fellows will be equipped to develop Unsung Heroes projects with their students, applying and evaluating the stories of these role models who have changed the world throughout history.

About LMC
The Lowell Milken Center (LMC) for Unsung Heroes works with students and educators across diverse academic disciplines to develop history projects that highlight role models who demonstrate courage, compassion and respect. Through a unique project-based learning approach, students discover, develop and communicate the stories of Unsung Heroes who have made a profound and positive impact on the course of history. By championing these Unsung Heroes, students, educators and communities discover their own power and responsibility to effect positive change in the world. For more information, visit

Jana Rausch, Vice President, Communications
Milken Family Foundation
(310) 570-4774 office
(310) 435-9259 mobile