Seth Brown, a math teacher at Wayzata West Middle School, was surprised Monday with news that he’d won a Milken Education award, which comes with an unrestricted $25,000 cash prize.
Teachers who win the prize aren’t told they are nominated, so Brown learned about the award at a surprise school assembly. Teachers are nominated without their knowledge.
About 2,500 teachers have received the awards since 1987.
Brown has taught math at the school since 2003 and is known for creative use of technology in his classroom. He was also cited for his work to overcome the achievement gap and his work in the community.
At the ceremony were Jane Foley from the Milken Educator Awards, state Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius and 3rd District Congressman Erik Paulsen.
The awards panel looks for these criteria in the winning teacher:
- Exceptional educational talent as evidenced by effective instructional practices and student learning results in the classroom and school.
- Exemplary educational accomplishments beyond the classroom that provide models of excellence for the profession.
- Individuals whose contributions to education are largely unheralded, yet are worthy of the spotlight.
- Early- to mid-career educators who offer strong long-range potential for professional and policy leadership.
- Engaging and inspiring presence that motivates and impacts students, colleagues and the community.