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News

For Immediate Release
October 21, 2005

Teacher Paul Kelly awarded $25,000 by Milken Family Foundation

A Hinsdale South High School social studies teacher was awarded $25,000 today (Monday, Oct. 24) by the Milken Family Foundation in recognition of his outstanding efforts in the field of education.

Paul Kelly has only been teaching social studies for seven years but the impact he makes on students reflects a seasoned veteran. Paul is a dedicated teacher who is committed to helping his students achieve actual learning. Under his guidance, his students demonstrate real growth in their knowledge, understanding, and skills.

A natural leader, Paul was selected by the Art Institute of Chicago to serve on their High School Education Advisory Committee and the Illinois Association of Sociology teachers has had Paul present at their state conferences.

The combination of these skills is what led the Milken Family Foundation to select Paul as one of three Illinois recipients of the prestigious Milken National Educator Award.

The announcement came as a complete surprise to almost everyone in the crowded auditorium of Hinsdale South High School. Under the ruse of a visit by State Superintendent of Education Randy Dunn, an assembly was put together. The reality was something on a bigger scale as local dignitaries, politicians, and members of the school board took their places. Then Lowell Milken, chairman and co-founder of the Milken Family Foundation was introduced. A few people in the audience recognized the name but the secret was still intact. After a short speech about outstanding teachers and the importance of education, Milken announced the real reason for the assembly.

The prestigious award is given annually to teachers demonstrating exemplary teaching skills and personal commitment to education. Each winner receives $25,000 from the Milken Family Foundation which they can use for any purpose.

Paul's passion for teaching doesn't end with his students. His colleagues describe him as the consummate professional with a genuine warmth and concern for his students and the school community. Fellow teachers gravitate to him as do students. As a matter of fact, because of Paul's enormous impact on students the school had to hire another sociology teacher due to ever increasing enrollment in the program.

As a teacher, one of Paul's greatest strengths is his ability to reach out and connect with his students. He is willing to do whatever it takes to help students learn and he never stops trying to improve his teaching so he can best help students. Students respect his knowledge and are willing to work hard for him because they understand he is truly interested in their success.

This year, 100 teachers in 48 states and the District of Columbia will receive Milken awards. To date, the Milken Family Foundation has honored a total of more than 2100 educators, and distributed more than $54 million in awards. Ninety nine Illinois teachers and principals have received the Milken National Educator award since its inception.

Illinois State Board of Education
100 North First Street
Springfield, IL 62777