By Kristin Bednarski
Students and teachers at Spaulding Elementary School in Goshen packed into the gym Nov. 19 and received big news that their own third-grade teacher Crystal Dozier received a 2012 Milken Educator Award.
Before making the announcement, local officials, members of the Ohio Department of Education and the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching all helped build the excitement that a teacher at Spaulding would be receiving the award.
“We have a surprise and there is only one of these in the state of Ohio,” Michael Sawyers, acting superintendent of public instruction, said.
Jason Culbertson, executive vice president of the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching, represented the Milken Family Foundation and talked about what the award means for a teacher.
“We need to do more for our teachers when we can,” Culbertson said. “People at Milken Family Foundation feel the same way.”
Culbertson also had students reveal the $25,000 financial prize the teacher would be receiving as part of the award.
Culbertson then announced to a completely shocked Dozier that she was the recipient of the award.
Once she gathered her thoughts, Dozier addressed the crowd.
“I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart,” Dozier said. “I couldn’t do this without my students and fellow staff.”
Dozier said five years ago when she came to Spaulding Elementary School she found her new family in Goshen.
“They helped mold me and push me to continue to be excellent,” Dozier said about the students and staff at the district.
Dozier was the only teacher in Ohio selected to receive the Milken Educator Award.
Dozier was selected based on guidelines established by the foundation, including educational accomplishments, instructional practices, student learning results and more.
“She is energetic and incredibly innovative,” Mark Slagle, the director of technology at Spaulding, said about Dozier. “The creativity with which she integrates things is fascinating.”
Dozier was recommended to receive the award by an independent blue-ribbon committee made up of members of the Ohio Department of Education.
Departments of education in other states are also able to appoint a blue-ribbon committee to nominate individuals. Up to 40 Milken Educator Awards will be given throughout the United States this year.
The Milken Family Foundation was established in 1982 by Lowell and Michael Milken.
The Milken Educator Awards were designed to provide public recognition and a financial award to elementary and secondary school teachers, principals and specialists in the United States.
Since the program began in 1985, more than 2,500 educators have received awards.
For more information about the Milken Educator Awards visit www.milkeneducatorawards.org.