Two South Carolina high school teachers became $25,000 richer over the weekend. Robert Ondere of Lugoff-Elgin High School and Katherine Henderson of West Ashley High School in Charleston They were honored at the Milkin Educator Awards Saturday night in Santa Monica, California. In a ceremony that organizers describe as the “Oscars of teaching,” each winner received a $25,000 check.
Henderson flew back home yesterday and was back in the classroom Monday morning, tired and, as she says, motivated.
Most important for me, it provides an opportunity for educators to be highlighted. Education when it’s in the news and in the headlines, it’s often because of something negative or it’s tied to money, with budgets. And we forget that this is about children. We forget that this is about children. We forget that every individual, from the Supreme Court to the president, to our lawyers and doctors to our firemen, to our armed services–they’ve all had teachers.
Henderson, an English teacher, is in her 13th year. She says that budget debate can often affect teacher morale. (Listen to selection of interview with Katherine Henderson, MP3 5:15)
Listen to selection of interview with Katherine Henderson MP3
View Robert Ondere’s bio, provided by the Milken Family Foundation
The Milken Educator Awards were established by Milken Family Foundation Chairman Lowell Milken to provide public recognition and individual financial rewards of $25,000 to elementary and secondary teachers, principals and specialists.The honors alternate each year between elementary and secondary educators. According to the foundation, “Recipients are heralded in early to mid-career for what they have achieved and for the promise of what they will accomplish.”