The mix of shock and happiness on Heidi Albin’s face when she was named a Milken Educator Award winner Thursday is priceless.
The 29-year-old science teacher at Complete High School Maize, an alternative high school, was one of 43 winners nationally. So it’s a pretty big deal.
Jane Foley of the Milken Family Foundation said the award recognizes the top 1 percent of the teaching profession, but the math shows it’s much more elite than that.
The awards, plus a $25,000 check, are presented to innovative teachers who are able to show results from their students. Albin did not apply for the award and didn’t know she was nominated.
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That’s the best kind of winner, one who doesn’t look for recognition and is humble when lauded as one of the nation’s best. Complete High School Maize may have more future scientists because of her. Less than a quarter of her students were interested in science before beginning her class. Of those same students, surveyed again after taking Albin’s class, 82 percent were interested in science.