TEA News Release 2

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Dec. 7, 2012

Alvin teacher wins $25,000 Milken award


ALVIN - Kristi Plummer knew that today was going to be a special day at her school in the Alvin Independent School District because both Gov. Rick Perry and Commissioner of Education Michael L. Williams were coming to visit. What she didn’t know was that they were coming to Passmore Elementary School specifically to honor her.

During a schoolwide assembly this morning, Plummer, a math intervention specialist, was stunned to learn that she is the latest recipient of the Milken National Educator award. The award, given by the California-based Milken Family Foundation, carries with it an unrestricted cash prize of $25,000.

“None of our state’s academic successes would be possible without the teachers of Texas, who inspire our students as much as they educate them,” Gov. Perry said. “We owe you an enormous debt of gratitude for the work you do, both in the classroom and beyond.”

Williams said, “This is a great holiday surprise and a well deserved recognition for this educator.”

“Kristi Plummer is making a difference in the lives of Alvin children every day. She does everything from helping them with math to sponsoring the student council to even inviting a family new to the district to join her for Thanksgiving dinner one year. Kristi is an example of the dedicated, caring people we have working in schools all over this state,” the commissioner said.

The award will be given to no more than 40 educators around the country this year who are in early to mid-career. The award recognizes what the recipients have already achieved and the promise of what they will accomplish in the future. 

Plummer did not know that she was under consideration for the Milken award because the selection process is carried out in a confidential manner.  Plummer is the only Texas educator to receive the 2012 award.

She is the second Alvin educator to receive the prestigious award since 2000, when Texas joined the program. Lesa Martin, then a teacher at E.C. Mason Elementary School in Alvin ISD, received the award in 2004.

Plummer began teaching in the 2007-2008 school year and has now taught fourth, fifth and sixth grade math and fourth grade science. Beginning this year, she is working as a math interventionalist, which means she works with at-risk students to help them develop stronger math skills. Plummer also works with English as a Second Language students.

A graduate of Texas A&M University, Plummer’s leadership and organizational skills were quickly recognized. She became the math department chair in just her second year of teaching.

But a colleague who knows her well says, “The most impressive instructional practice that she has is truly getting to know her students.  Caring for them is a key to her success.”

Lowell Milken, chairman and co-founder of the Milken Family Foundation, said, “With research confirming that effective teachers represent the single most important school-related factor in raising student achievement, it is important to honor them, learn from them, and inspire more capable people to join the profession.”

Since the awards creation 26 years ago, the program has honored more than 2,500 educators and issued more than $63 million in cash prizes.  To date, 44 Texas educators been named Milken National Education Award winners and received a total of $1.1 million in prizes.

More information about the awards is available at http://www.mff.org.