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Olathe Principal Gets Surprise $25,000 Milken Educator Award

A grade school principal in Olathe got a big surprise this (FRI) morning when she was awarded a check for $25,000.  

Stephanie Conklin, the principal at Brougham (BROME) Elementary School, received the Milken Educator Award during a school assembly.  The award credits Conklin with creating a positive and successful learning environment, with high student attendance numbers and high test scores.   

Conklin is a graduate of Fort Hays State and the University of Kansas.  The Milken Family Foundation has given out more than $68 million worth of awards to educators in the past 30 years.

Learn more about the award, Brougham Elementary and Principal Stephanie Conklin, here.

The Milken Educator Awards program, now celebrating its 30th year, is the oldest teacher recognition program of its kind in the nation.  The idea began in the early 1980s when Lowell Milken, the chairman and co-founder of the Milken Family Foundation, began exploring strategies for strengthening the education profession. The first Awards were presented to a group of 12 teachers and administrators in California.  Now, Milken Educators are surprised at school assemblies before students, colleagues, school and community officials and the media.  The prestigious honor has been described as "the Oscars of teaching" by Teacher magazine. More than $138 million in funding, including $68 million in individual $25,000 Awards, has been devoted to the overall program, which includes powerful professional development opportunities throughout recipients' careers.

J. Schafer is the News Director of Kansas Public Radio. He’s also the Managing Editor of the Kansas Public Radio Network, which provides news and information to other public radio stations in Kansas and Missouri.