|New Mexico State Department
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786
Public Outreach Director
April 16, 2003
New Mexico's Milken Recipients to Receive $25,000 Awards
At National Education Conference in Los Angeles
(Santa Fe, NM)- As public schools scramble to ensure that a "highly
qualified" teacher is assigned to every U.S. classroom, hundreds
of outstanding K-12 educators will join elected officials, policy
leaders and other education experts at the 2003 Milken National
Education Conference in Los Angeles on April 26-28 to explore ways
to develop a first-rate national teaching corps.
In attendance will be Suzanne Harper, principal of Colinas Del
Norte Elementary School in Rio Rancho, and Charlotte Begay, a family
and child educator at Wingate Elementary School, a Bureau of Indian
Affairs school in Fort Wingate, recipients of 2002 prestigious Milken
Family Foundation National Educator Awards. They will receive $25,000
unrestricted financial awards for their recognition to use in any
way they choose.
"Dedicated and talented teachers are the cornerstone of a
quality education for our children," said State Superintendent
of Public Instruction Michael J. Davis. "We value the outstanding
work of inspiring educators like Suzanne Harper and Charlotte Begay
as they help guide and ensure the success of future generations."
Respected as one of the premier seminars in K-12 education, the
2003 Milken National Education Conference will bring together key
policymakers and state superintendents, past and present Milken
Award-winning educators and other distinguished experts to engage
in intensive workshops and professional development opportunities
designed to propel effective teaching into greater student achievement.
The conference coincides with the 20th anniversary of the release
of "A Nation at Risk" - the landmark federal report that
questioned public education's ability to prepare young people for
the challenges of the 21st Century.
This year's session slate features:
- A keynote presentation by former U.S. Secretary of Education
- Moderated by philanthropist and education leader Lowell Milken,
a panel including national radio host Tavis Smiley, reform advocate
Jeanne Allen, U.S. Deputy Undersecretary of Education Nina Rees
and Illinois Superintendent Robert Schiller will discuss ways
to equalize educational opportunities for our nation's most disadvantaged
- A dialogue about the essential indicators of quality teaching
with Stanford University's Eric Hanushek, Lee Shulman of the Carnegie
Foundation, Herbert Walberg of the University of Illinois-Chicago
and former Milken Educator and National Teacher of the Year Philip
- An interactive debate about whether "certified" teachers
are indeed the most "qualified" to teach, featuring
Arthur Wise of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher
Education and Michael Podgursky of the University of Missouri;
- The Fordham Foundation's Chester Finn outlining the ramifications
of the federal "No Child Left Behind" legislation.
The conference will culminate with the presentation of the $25,000
Milken National Educator Awards to 100 recipients from across the
nation. Dubbed the "Oscars of teaching" by Teacher Magazine,
this black-tie gala - featuring mistresses of ceremonies Jeri Ryan
of Fox TV's "Boston Public" and Giselle Fernandez of KTLA-TV
Los Angeles - honors K-12 educators and celebrates their achievements
in true Hollywood fashion.
Cash awards totaling $2.5 million are attached to this year's
Milken National Educator Awards, designed to recognize excellence
in America's elementary and secondary schools and inspire young
people to become teachers. Established in 1985 by education pioneer
Lowell Milken, the program is the largest teacher recognition program
in the U.S., having presented more than $46 million in awards to
1,877 educators in 46 states.
For more information about the 2003 Milken National Education Conference
and the National Educator Awards program, please contact the Milken
Family Foundation Department of Communications at (310) 570-4775,
or visit the Foundation's Web site at http://www.mff.org.