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For Immediate Release
October 12, 2006
Contact: Charles Pyle
Director of Communications
(804) 371-2420
Julie Grimes
Public Information Officer
(804) 225-2775

Two Virginia K-12 Educators Receive $25,000 Milken Awards Charlottesville Principal and
Chesterfield County Elementary Teacher Honored

Video of 2006 Milken Family Foundation
National Educator Award Announcements

A Chesterfield County fifth-grade teacher and an elementary school principal from Charlottesville each received $25,000 awards today from the Milken Family Foundation. Milken Family Foundation Senior Vice President Jane Foley and Superintendent of Public Instruction Billy K. Cannaday Jr. presented the awards during surprise assemblies at each winner’s school.

“These educators inspire excellence in their schools, in their students, and in their coworkers,” said Dr. Cannaday. “In doing so, they make a profound difference in the lives of Virginia students each day. Through the Milken Family Foundation’s National Educator Awards program they are receiving recognition for making a profound difference in the lives of Virginia students.”

“The educators being honored today play a critical role in ensuring high-quality educational opportunities for all students,” said Dr. Foley. “As a nation, it is imperative that we recognize the importance of outstanding teachers and educational leaders and encourage young, talented people to choose teaching as a career.”

The Milken Family Foundation National Educator Awards are designed to reward and provide recognition for elementary and secondary school teachers, principals, and administrators who promote excellence and innovation in public education. The 2006 Virginia recipients are:

  • Daphne R. Keiser , the principal at Burnley-Moran Elementary School in Charlottesville. Prior to becoming principal in 2005, Ms. Keiser was a classroom teacher, interim principal, and assistant principal. As assistant principal at Walker Upper Elementary School, she was the coordinator of the Extended Day Generates Excellence (EDGE) program and the sponsor of the Walker Academy, a program for fifth-grade and sixth-grade African-American boys. Ms. Keiser received her bachelor’s degree from Virginia State University, a master’s degree from the University of Virginia (UVA), and is currently completing her doctorate in administration and supervision with a policy studies minor from UVA.
  • Joshua Cole, a fifth-grade teacher at Chalkley Elementary School. In addition to his teaching duties, Mr. Cole coordinates the before-and-after school program, leads the annual community 5K run/walk, and has served as summer school site coordinator. He was honored as the school’s 2004 teacher of the year. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University and a master’s degree from Wayne State University. He is currently pursuing a doctorate at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Ms. Keiser and Mr. Cole join 25 other Virginia educators who have been recognized with the prestigious Milken Educator Awards since Virginia began participating in 1999.

Educators are recommended for the Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award without their knowledge by a blue-ribbon panel appointed by each participating state’s department of education. Recipients of the awards are selected on the basis of numerous criteria, including:

  • Exceptional educational talent as evidenced by student achievement and outstanding instructional practices in the classroom, school, and profession;
  • Outstanding accomplishments and strong long-range potential for professional and policy leadership; and
  • Engaging and inspiring presence that motivates and impacts students, colleagues, and the community at-large.

The Milken Family Foundation National Educator Awards were established in 1985. The awards program, dubbed “the Oscars of Teaching” by Teacher Magazine, is the largest of its kind in the country. Since the inception of the program, the Milken Family Foundation has distributed more than $56 million in awards to more than 2,200 educators in 48 states and the District of Columbia. This month, 100 new recipients from across the country are being announced in surprise assemblies at their schools. This year’s award winners will receive their unrestricted $25,000 prizes in Spring 2007 at the Milken Family Foundation National Education Conference in Los Angeles .