Mississippi teachers earn national honor, $25,000 prizes

Published 8:55 pm Friday, January 12, 2024

The Mississippi Department of Education congratulates three Mississippi teachers who were recently surprised with a national Milken Educator Award that includes an unrestricted $25,000 cash prize.

Jennifer Hite, a fifth-grade science teacher at Pearl Upper Elementary, and Kristien “Krissy” Long, a fifth-grade math and science teacher at Neshoba Central Elementary, received the awards during assemblies at their respective schools Jan. 10. Anna Katherine Davis, a math teacher at Houston High School, received her award today.

The Milken Educator Award is a national honor recognizing exceptional educators for excellence and innovation in education. Since 1987, the Milken Family Foundation has granted the awards to educators annually. Educators cannot apply to receive the award.

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Interim State Superintendent of Education Dr. Raymond Morgigno and Milken Educator Awards Vice President Stephanie Bishop presented the surprise awards to each teacher during school assemblies students and staff thought were being held to celebrate local school achievement.

Hailed as the “Oscars of Teaching,” the awards will honor up to 75 recipients across the country in 2023-24 as part of the Milken Family Foundation’s Journey to the 3,000th Milken Educator. 2023-24 will reach $75 million in individual financial prizes spanning the length of the initiative and more than $144 million invested in the Milken Educator Award national network overall, empowering recipients to “Celebrate, Elevate, and Activate” the K-12 profession and inspiring young, capable people to pursue teaching as a career.

In addition to the cash prize, recipients will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the Milken Educator Awards Forum in Los Angeles this June. Photos and videos of each teacher receiving the awards can be viewed at milkeneducatorawards.org.