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Local educator receives top teacher award

Posted: 4:51 PM, Dec 19, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-19 21:54:03-05

COLORADO SPRINGS – It’s been called the Oscars of teaching.

A Soaring Eagles Elementary School teacher is Colorado’s latest recipient of a national award that recognizes excellence in education. Sarah Szymanski is a 2018-19 Milken Educator Award winner. Her students and coworkers celebrated her accomplishment in a surprise ceremony at the school Wednesday.

“It was a remarkable surprise,” says Szymanski,”I had no idea this was even an option. I didn’t know. I just feel like there are so many phenomenal educators that would be deserving of an award like this, and I just hope that I do the foundation proud.”

The award is put forth by Milken Family Foundation to recognize outstanding teachers for their work and give public attention to the importance of excellence in education. Candidates are confidentially recommended to the Foundation by a blue-ribbon panel appointed by each state’s department of education, according to the foundation’s website.

She is Colorado’s only Milken Award winner in this year, which comes with $25,000 prize. Since the award’s inception, 91 Colorado teachers have been recipients. Szymanski says she has not decided she’ll spend her award money.