On January 9 a Beaumont teacher, Brooke Powers, was award a $25,000 Milken Educator Award. Powers is a seventh-grade math teacher at Beaumont Middle School in Lexington, Kentucky. She is known for her motivational tactics, amping up student interest though math games, using in-class technology like cell phones and tablets, and utilizing pop culture tie-ins such as using Cheetos to demonstrate the algebraic concept of surface area.
Powers was presented the award by State Commissioner of Education Stephen L. Pruitt and Milken Family Foundation Senior Program Administrator Greg Gallagher. She was named a 2017-18 recipient of the national recognition, which comes with an unrestricted $25,000 cash prize. She is the only Milken Award winner from Kentucky this year, and is among the 44 honorees for 2017-18.
The Milken Educator Awards, hailed by Teacher magazine as the “Oscars of Teaching,” has been opening minds and shaping futures for 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.
Creative lesson plans and hands-on teaching are hallmarks of Powers’ classroom practices. As head of the school’s math department and a published author in journals such as Kentucky Teacher and Educators for High Standards, Powers is boosting the advancement of her students and her school. Powers’ students average 1.5 years of growth on MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) assessments, with struggling learners showing two years’ growth. On the 2015 K-PREP state assessments, 75% of her students reached Proficient or Distinguished levels.
Milken Educators are selected in early to mid-career for what they have achieved and for the promise of what they will accomplish. In addition to the $25,000 prize and public recognition, Powers’ honor includes membership in the National Milken Educator Network, a group of more than 2,700 top teachers, principals and specialists dedicated to strengthening education.