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Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award

The Milken Family Foundation was established in 1982. Since then, the Foundation has worked with more than 1,000 organizations in countless ways to share its purpose of discovering inventive ways of helping people help themselves and those around them to lead productive and satisfying lives.

Recipients of the award are selected by an independent blue-ribbon committee appointed by each state’s department of education. Predetermined criteria for the award include exceptional educational talent and promise; distinguished achievement in developing innovative educational curricula, programs and/or teaching methods; outstanding ability to instill in students character and self-confidence, and commitment to professional development.

SOURCE: Milken Family Foundation

Portland Public Schools First Grade Teacher Receives Milken Educator Award for $25,000

During a surprise school assembly at Whitman Elementary School in Portland on Monday, December 3, first grade teacher Janet Do was presented with a Milken Educator Award by Milken Educator Awards Senior Vice President Dr. Jane Foley and Deputy Director of the Oregon Department of Education Carmen Xiomara Urbina. An excited Do was named a 2018-19 recipient of the national recognition, which comes with an unrestricted $25,000 cash prize. She is the only Milken Educator Award winner from Oregon this year, and is among the up to 40 honorees for 2018-19.

Learning takes flight in Do's first grade class, thanks to an eclectic yet rigorous approach. Leading her students in songs and rhythmic chants that help internalize important facts and concepts, Do puts a higher education spin on elementary learning as she refers to her students as "scholars" and "mentors,” employing individually targeted instruction that is differentiated to suit each student's needs. Boosting student engagement with fun classroom activities serves a dual purpose: driving discipline referrals down and pushing achievement scores up, with most of her students making at least a one and a half year leap in reading.

Janet Do receiving check from dignitaries on December 3, 2018  

“Janet’s well-rounded approach to supporting early learners is inspiring, and the success of her instruction is evidenced by her students’ enthusiasm and growth,” said Director of the Oregon Department of Education Colt Gill. “I feel honored to recognize her as this year’s Milken Educator Award recipient in Oregon.”

"As Victor Hugo wrote in Les Miserables, 'To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark,'" said Foley. "And Janet Do is a keeper of that flame, igniting a passion for learning in her students through her own love of knowledge, dedication to the craft of teaching and a multifaceted creative approach. We gladly welcome her into the proud fellowship of Milken Educators."

Do is a master at building community and creates a classroom that students and families love. She forms strong, genuine relationships, helps all students set and reach attainable goals and is quick to advocate for children with special needs. Whitman serves an area with high mobility and Do frequently welcomes new students into her classroom throughout the year, quickly making them feel at home.

The Milken Educator Awards, hailed by Teacher magazine as the “Oscars of Teaching,” has been opening minds and shaping futures for more than 30 years. The initiative not only aims to reward great teachers, but to celebrate, elevate and activate those innovators in the classroom who are guiding America’s next generation of leaders. Recipients are heralded in early to mid-career for what they have achieved and for the promise of what they will accomplish.

Janet Do in the News

Previous Oregon Winners

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