Jennifer Albert, who earned her master’s degree in educational theory and practice in 2013 from Arkansas State University, has received the Milken Educator Award of $25,000 for 2018-19. Albert is a fifth-grade science and math teacher at Emma Love Hardee Elementary School in Fernandina Beach, Fla., according to ASU.
Albert is at least the fourth ASU alumni to receive the award. Dawn McLain, who earned a master’s degree in gifted, talented and creative education in 2014, was presented the award in January 2018. Erin Hodges, who earned a bachelor’s degree in middle school-level English in 2003 and a master’s degree in educational leadership in 2008 at ASU, received the award in 2014. Dr. Kim Wilbanks, who earned a bachelor of science in education in 1984 and a master of science in education in 1986 from ASU, received the award in 1991.
Albert earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 1998 from the University of North Florida. She created a learning environment for her students through her use of inquiry-based projects, vocabulary games and cooperative learning strategies. During the 2016-17 school year, 81% of Albert’s students achieved proficiency in science and 79% in math on state assessments. Albert’s teaching methods have created a model for STEM educators throughout the school district.
She has served as chair of BRIDGES (Broadening Regional Impact by Developing and Growing Excellent Schools), the elementary school’s positive behavior support team and STEAM committee and worked on the school district’s instructional leadership team.
As a winner, Albert receives membership in the National Milken Educator Network, a group of more than 2,700 top teachers, principals and specialists dedicated to strengthening education. In addition, she will attend a Milken Educator Forum in New Orleans from March 21-24, 2019. Educators will have the opportunity to network with their new colleagues and hear from state and federal officials about maximizing their leadership roles to advance educator effectiveness.
The Milken Educator Award was founded in 1982 by Lowel Milken, an international property developer regarded as one of America’s most generous philanthropists. He established the award, called the “Oscars of teaching” by Teacher Magazine, to recognize exceptional teachers, and the first award was presented in 1987 to provide public recognition and individual financial rewards of $25,000 to elementary and secondary school teachers, principals and specialists from around the country who are furthering excellence in education. Recipients are recognized in early to mid-career for what they have achieved and for the promise of what they will accomplish.
The $25,000 award is an unrestricted cash prize that can be spent any way the recipient deems appropriate.