Student Wins $25,000 Educator Award

A student in the William Woods University master of education program in Portageville, Mo., is the recipient of the 2002 Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award and the winner of an unrestricted cash award of $25,000.

DeLois Booker, an art teacher in Portageville Elementary School, was one of two Missouri educators to receive the award. The other is an instructional specialist in the Normandy School District of St. Louis.

Booker was nominated by her principal, Sandra Mudd, who also is an adjunct faculty member for WWU’s Graduate & Adult Studies program. Booker will receive her master of education degree in curriculum and instruction through the G&AS program Dec. 13.

The Milken Educator Award is given to classroom teachers, principals and other public school professionals who are providing exemplary leadership in their schools and communities and working to promote excellence in public education.

Booker has taught art in grades one through six for 15 years at Portageville Elementary School. Her principal describes her as “one in a million.” She is recognized as an inspirational and creative teacher who is especially effective at involving students with special needs.

She has been involved in the development of the state-level fine arts assessment that is part of the Missouri Assessment Program. In addition to teaching art, she is a leader in many other areas, including working in the after-school tutoring program.

Recipients of the Milken Educator Awards are selected on the basis of numerous criteria, including:

· Exceptional talent and commitment, as evidenced by outstanding instructional practices in the classroom, school and profession.

· Outstanding accomplishments and long-range potential for professional and policy leadership.

· Success in motivating and inspiring students, colleagues and the community at large.