For Immediate Release
Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Chicago 3rd grade teacher earns national recognition for “awe inspiring” impact on students

Cameron Elementary teacher selected for Milken National Educator Award

CHICAGO – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Milken Family Foundation announced today Chicago Public Schools Teacher Ronelle Robinson has been selected for the Milken National Educator Award. Robinson, a third grade teacher at Daniel R. Cameron Elementary School will receive $25,000 as part of the award.

“Teaching is much more than just instructing students in the classroom. It’s a commitment to putting students on the right track in all aspects of their lives so that they can be successful not only in school, but life itself,” said Linda Tomlinson, Assistant Superintendent at the Illinois State Board of Education. “I want to thank the Milken Family Foundation for their commitment to recognizing these teachers that go above and beyond.”

Robinson’s colleagues have described her impact on students as “awe inspiring.”  Administrators at Daniel R. Cameron Elementary School in Chicago are so impressed with Robinson’s teaching strategies that they made her a mentor teacher.

“Other teachers routinely request release time so they can sit in on her classes and watch her teach,” said Stephen Harden, Assistant Principal at Cameron Elementary. “She has so much to offer her students and her colleagues, she’s truly exceptional!”

Lowell Milken, chairman and co-founder of the Milken Family Foundation was joined by football legend Rosie Greer and local dignitaries at an assembly at Cameron Elementary where the surprise announcement was made. The prestigious award is given annually to teachers demonstrating exemplary teaching skills and a personal commitment to education.  Each winner receives $25,000 from the Milken Family Foundation which they can use however they wish. 

Robinson, who has been a teacher for 18 years, is vigilant in seeking out professional development opportunities for her colleagues.  She firmly believes that teachers must be willing to learn new skills and new methodologies to be the most effective teacher possible. 

This year marks the 22nd anniversary of the Milken Educator Awards.  Up to 80 recipients across the county will receive the award during the next six weeks.  Over $60 million has been awarded to more then 2300 recipients, including the 2008 awardees.  New winners will join the Milken Educator Network, a rich resource of educators and other influential leaders accessible to fellow teachers, legislators, school boards, and others who are shaping the future of education.  Illinois joined the Milken Educator Awards program in 1988 and to date 106 educators across the state have been named National Educators.