Tennessee Teacher Surprised by $25,000

Athens City math teacher Kevin Winters was awarded $25,000 today, thanks to the Milken Foundation.

The award was presented this morning by Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman and the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching’s Dr. Gary Stark at a surprise ceremony at Athens City Middle School.

Milken Award Winner Kevin Winters leans in to ask colleague Megan Golden if they really just announced his name. Photo courtesy of the Milken Family Foundation

“Teachers like Kevin Winters are the reason we are the fastest improving state in the nation,” Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman said. “Every day our teachers go above and beyond to support and encourage our students’ growth in and out of the classroom.”

Winters high fives a student after the announcement. Photo courtesy of the Milken Family Foundation

Winters, known for building relationships and motivating students and colleagues, is also a master teacher for TAP: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement. Winters continually works with his principal and faculty to analyze student data and develop comprehensive school academic achievement plans that include educator evaluations and ongoing professional development. He also leads a weekly “think tank” for teachers, providing demonstration lessons, coaching, and team-teaching strategies.

Winters calls his wife, a third grade teacher nearby, to share the news. Photo courtesy of the Milken Family Foundation

A student at Athens City Middle shows her pride during the announcement. Photo courtesy of the Milken Family Foundation

Winters joins 60 Tennessee educators who have been recognized since the program began in Tennessee in 1992. Over the past 22 years, the program has awarded more than $1.5 million to Tennessee educators.

Find out more about the Milken Educator Awards, and watch surprise ceremonies from across the country on their website.

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