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NEWS RELEASES 2003-04 :: APRIL 28, 2004


North Carolina's 2003 Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award recipients Amy Vaughn and Chris Monte will travel to Washington, D.C., next week to attend the 2004 Milken National Education Conference and receive their $25,000 unrestricted financial awards.

Vaughn, an English teacher at Freedom High School (Burke County Schools), and Monte, a U.S. History teacher and soccer coach at J.F. Webb High School (Granville County Schools), received the Milken Award last October during a series of surprise notifications by State Superintendent Mike Ward.

Recipients of the award are selected by an independent blue-ribbon committee appointed by each state's education department. 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 10th year of recognizing excellence in education through the Milken Family Foundation.

During the May conference, which coincides with Teacher Appreciation Week, educators from across the country will join elected officials, policy leaders and other education experts to explore ways to attract, develop, motivate and retain exceptional teachers. The conference culminates with the Milken Educator Awards gala during which 100 recipients from across the nation will receive their unrestricted $25,000 Milken National Educator Awards. The Milken Family Foundation characterizes the "black-tie affair, which Teacher Magazine calls the ‘Oscars of Teaching,' as a way to honor K-12 educators and celebrate their achievements in true Hollywood fashion."

For more information about North Carolina's Milken recipients, please contact Dan Holloman, Center for Recruitment and Retention, NC DPI, 919.807.3375. For more information about the 2004 Milken National Education Conference and the National Educator Awards program, please call the Milken Family Foundation's Department of Communications at 310.570.4775, 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.