Missouri Teacher Wins Prestigious Education Award

A Missouri teacher won the Miliken Foundation National Educator Award based partially on his impact as a football coach.

Teaching can be a difficult profession, which makes it an especially sweet piece of education news when an educator is recognized on a national level for his or her work.

Recently, Tobin Schultz, a social studies teacher and football coach at Joplin High School, in Joplin, Mo., was one of several educators around the country to win the prestigious Miliken Family Foundation National Educator Award. The honor, which is accompanied by a $25,000 prize, serves to highlight the excellent work being done by teachers around the country and the enormous impact they have in their schools and communities.

Award details
According to the Miliken Family Foundation's website, the National Educator award is the scholastic version of the Oscars or Grammys. Founded in 1985, the program recognizes teachers who are in the early or middle stages of their careers for work they have already done, as well as the promise they show for the future.

In the foundation's nearly 30 years of handing out the award, more than 2,500 teachers have received it, equaling a total monetary prize amount of more than $64 million. Just as importantly, the foundation makes a raft of "powerful networking and development tools" available to winners, further enabling them to continue their growth as educators.

Shultz's impact
Schultz, an 11-year teaching veteran, received the award in a surprise presentation at an assembly at Joplin High School on Oct. 18. That shock is part of the annual honor, as the Miliken foundation dictates it should be an unexpected event when the award is handed out.

Schultz was not only taken aback, he also described the award as "very humbling" at the assembly, exhibiting the attitude that helped him win in the first place. Among the signature achievements in Schultz's decade-plus career in teaching, according to The Joplin Globe, has been the formation of the Link Crew, a program in which upperclassmen mentor freshman to help ease them into high school life. He is also the defensive coordinator for the varsity football team.

A veritable who's-who of the Missouri education establishment showed up to watch Schultz receive the award, including Joplin administrators, faculty, staff and students, representatives from the Board of Education, Bright Futures, Missouri Southern State University, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and local legislators.

This article is sponsored by Western Governors University, a non-profit, accredited, online university. WGU's Teachers College offers multiple online degree programs for current teachers or those looking to become teachers. To find out more, please visit www.wgu.edu/wisecareers_teachers.

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