Newark Charter teacher wins prestigious Milken award

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Milken and Lunsford. (Milken Family Foundation photo)/

Tami Lunsford is the first Milken Educator Award winner from the state of Delaware.

The Milken Educator Awards, hailed by Teacher magazine as the “Oscars of Teaching,” comes with an unrestricted $25,000 cash prize.

Mike Milken, co-founder of the Milken Family Foundation, surprised Lunsford with the Award and cash prize in front of a gathered student body who went buck wild for this popular teacher. Milken cited the consistent success of her students and her contributions to establishing Newark Charter High School. Angeline Rivello, Delaware’s Associate Secretary of Education joined the celebration to praise this educator and school.

Milken cited the consistent success of her students and her contributions to establishing Newark Charter High School. Angeline Rivello, Delaware’s associate secretary of education joined the celebration.

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Lunsford is among up to 45 honorees who will receive this national recognition for the 2017-18 Milken Educator Awards season.

Inquiry-based investigations, project-based learning and science competitions are key instructional practices Lunsford employs to engage her students as an Advanced Placement (AP) Biology and marine science teacher. She also builds skills through the curriculum to help students become proficient in collaboration, problem-solving, and social responsibility – talents immeasurably important for college and career. Teaching is a calling for Lunsford who started at the university level, and quickly became a leader at Newark Charter, helping to expand the institution from a middle school to a National Blue Ribbon high school.

“Tami Lunsford’s passion and energy in teaching inspires a love of learning – her students are immersed into a world that not only understands the science but embraces its awesome power and future applications,” said Milken. “We know that science is the engine of prosperity so Tami’s influence will be felt far beyond the classroom. We’re confident the future discoveries of the students she inspires will change the world.”

Unlike most teacher recognition programs, the Milken Educator Award is unique: Educators cannot apply for this recognition and do not even know they are under consideration.

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