To access Quick Links, visit our text-only version.

. Public Schools of North Carolina . . State Board of Education . . Department Of Public Instruction .


NEWS RELEASES 2000-01 :: JUNE 13, 2001


North Carolina's 2000 Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award recipients Cheryl Smith, Maria Petrea, Patsy Higdon and Laura Candler will be traveling to Los Angeles, California, later this month to attend the 2001 Milken National Education Conference and receive their $25,000 unrestricted financial awards.

Smith, a third grade teacher at Elizabethtown Primary School (Bladen County Schools); Petrea, principal of Collinswood Elementary School (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools); Higdon, principal of Weaverville Primary School (Buncombe County Schools), and Candler, a fifth grade teacher at E.E. Miller Elementary School (Cumberland County Schools) received the Milken Award last October during a series of surprise notifications by State Superintendent Mike Ward and a representative from the Milken Family Foundation.

Recipients of the award are selected by an independent blue-ribbon committee appointed by each state's department of education. Predetermined criteria for the award include expert pedagogy, distinguished achievement in developing innovative curricula, programs and/or teaching methods, outstanding ability to instill sound values in students, and commitment to professional development and excellence among others. Last year was North Carolina's seventh year of recognizing excellence in education through the Milken Family Foundation.

During the June 25-26 conference, educators will participate in intensive workshops featuring the latest tools and techniques for effective classroom instruction and professional development opportunities designed to address teacher quality issues. The conference culminates with the presentation of the $25,000 Milken National Educator Awards to 155 recipients from across the nation. The Milken Family Foundation characterizes the "black-tie affair, which Teacher Magazine calls the 'the Oscars of Teaching,' as a way to honor the real heroes of our country - K-12 educators - and celebrate their achievements in true Hollywood fashion."

For more information about North Carolina's Milken recipients, please contact Cecil Banks, Teacher Education, NC DPI, 919.807.3375. For more information about the 2001 Milken National Education Conference and the National Educator Awards program, please call the Milken Family Foundation's Department of Communications at 301.998.3088, or visit the Foundation's Web site at

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 126 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.