Burrell High School Teacher Awarded 2013 Milken Educator Award, Unrestricted $25,000 Cash Prize

Jan 14, 2014, 11:15 ET from Pennsylvania Department of Education

LOWER BURRELL, Pa., Jan. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Meghan Nese, a teacher at Burrell High School in Burrell School District, Westmoreland County, was surprised this morning as Pennsylvania's 2013 Milken Educator Award winner with an unrestricted $25,000 cash prize.

Acting Secretary of Education Carolyn Dumaresq and Dr. Jane Foley, senior vice president, Milken Educator Awards, presented the award to Nese during a surprise assembly at Burrell High School.

"On behalf of Governor Tom Corbett and all Pennsylvania citizens, I congratulate Meghan for being selected to receive this prestigious award," Dumaresq said.  "Meghan represents the high-quality work that thousands of educators across the state do each and every day by guiding students through the learning process to prepare them to be successful adults."

A 16-year educator, Nese is chairperson of the high school's English Department, teaches Pre-Advanced Placement English 9 and College Preparatory English 9, and regularly tutors students after school.  She has served as sponsor of the Interact Club and has been a mentor to non-tenured teachers.

Nese is described by her colleagues as very bright, articulate and industrious with a relentless work ethic.  She has an excellent way of challenging each student out of their comfort zone through rigorous expectations while at the same time being supportive of their needs in the process.

She obtained a bachelor's degree in English from Allegheny College and a master's degree in English from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

"Meghan is joining 51 Pennsylvania educators who have been recognized by the Milken Family Foundation for their commitment to student achievement and dedication to the teaching profession," Dumaresq said.  "I applaud her for being recognized for making a difference in the lives of her students."

The Milken Educator Award is the nation's preeminent teacher recognition program that honors K-12 educators across the country with a $25,000 cash award.  Since 1987, the Milken Family Foundation has awarded more than $64 million to nearly 2,600 educators throughout the United States, including 52 in Pennsylvania.

Part of the selection process included a recommendation by an independent committee in the Pennsylvania Department of Education.  Criteria for selection to the Milken Foundation included:

  • Exceptional educational talent as evidenced by effective instructional practices and student learning results in the classroom and school;
  • Exemplary educational accomplishments beyond the classroom that provide models of excellence for the profession;
  • Individuals whose contributions to education are largely unheralded yet worthy of the spotlight;
  • Early- to mid-career educators who offer strong long-range potential for professional and policy leadership; and
  • Engaging and inspiring presence that motivates and impacts students, colleagues and the community.

Milken Educator Award recipients are also inducted into the national Milken Educator Network, which is dedicated to reforming and strengthening K-12 education across the nation.

For additional information about the Milken Educator Award, visit www.milkeneducatorawards.org.

Media Contact: Tim Eller, 717-783-9802

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Education