Milken National Educator Awards Overview

The Milken Family Foundation National Educator Awards Program honors outstanding teachers and administrators in 48 states and the District of Columbia. Awards are presented to elementary (grades K-5) and secondary (grades 6-12) school educators in alternate years. Each Milken Educator receives an unrestricted award of $25,000.

Milken has three goals:

  1. to celebrate and reward educators making sustained creative and substantive contribution to the education of elementary and secondary school children;
  2. to elevate the teaching profession by increasing public recognition of and support for outstanding educators; and
  3. to encourage talented men and women to enter the field of education.

Identification and selection procedures are confidential; there is no formal nomination or application procedure for Milken Educators. Each school year, the state Superintendent of Public Instruction makes a surprise notification to each of the teachers/educators during all school assemblies.

The criteria for the selection of outstanding elementary and secondary school teachers, principals and other education professionals as Milken Educators include all of the following:

  • 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.

More than 2,700 outstanding Kindergarten through Grade 12 educators nationwide have been recognized and celebrated.

For complete details about the award's history, goals and recipients, visit the Milken Family Foundation website.

Last Modified: 11/19/2021 4:05:10 PM