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NEWS RELEASES 2007-08 :: OCTOBER 12, 2007
State Superintendent June Atkinson congratulates 2007 Milken recipient Stuart Albright.
Photo courtesy of Durham Public Schools.


Stuart Albright, an English teacher at C.E. Jordan High School (Durham Public Schools), today experienced an unforgettable moment in his teaching career: being named North Carolina’s 2007 Milken Family Foundation National Educator award recipient.

Milken Family Foundation Senior Vice President Dr. Jane Foley made the surprise announcement during a school-wide assembly. Albright is among the nation's approximately 80 most recent recipients of the Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award, which carries with it an unrestricted financial award of $25,000 and membership in a network of over 2,300 past recipients from across the nation. Albright is the only North Carolina educator to receive the award this year.

State Superintendent June Atkinson, who participated in the presentation event, said that being a part of the Milken notification is one of the highlights of her job. "How many opportunities do superintendents get to highlight and reward excellent teachers? This is a fun part of my job," Atkinson said. Atkinson added that everyone she had met spoke very highly of Stuart. "He is all about the students at Jordan High School and is committed to doing whatever it takes to ensure their success," she said. North Carolina has been a participant in Milken for the past 13 years.

An independent, blue ribbon committee appointed by each state's department of education selects the potential recipients on a state-by-state basis for the award for submission to the Milken Foundation. Predetermined criteria include 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; strong, long-term potential for professional and policy leadership; and an engaging and inspiring presence that motivates and impacts students, colleagues and the community.

Albright is noted for his ability to establish and nurture a sense of community with each of his classes. He differentiates his instruction and assignments so that each student experiences success in the classroom. His dedication to writing has led to the creation of several creative writing classes where students not only have opportunities to meet authors but become authors themselves and have their work published. His creative writing classes publish a book documenting each student’s best work. Students then receive a copy of the book showcasing his or her talent. Albright also understands that significant education occurs outside the classroom – and is quick to take advantage of teachable moments as offensive coordinator for the Junior Varsity football team.

Albright earned his bachelor of arts degree in 2001 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his master of arts degree in 2002 from Harvard University. He was named Jordan High School's Teacher of the Year for 2006-07 and Durham Public Schools Teacher of the Year for 2006-07. He has published one book, Blessed Returns, which documents the lessons learned in his work as a counselor for disadvantaged youth in Camden, New Jersey, and is currently working on his second book, which focuses on the history of North Carolina high school football.

Albright will join up to 80 other educators in 48 states and the District of Columbia as the latest recipients of this prestigious award, which was established to provide exceptional K-12 educators with public recognition and to inspire talented young people to consider teaching as a career. In addition to the financial award and educational networking opportunities, the Milken Family Foundation provides recipients with a variety of professional resources to help them cultivate and expand innovative programs in their classrooms, schools and districts. They also receive an all-expense-paid trip to Los Angeles in April 2008 for the annual Milken National Education Conference.

"Teachers have the most important jobs in America," Milken Family Foundation Chairman and Co-Founder Lowell Milken said. "We entrust them with the enormous responsibility of preparing our young people with the skills, knowledge and experiences needed to be successful in a most challenging 21st century. The Milken Educator Awards say, in a very public way, that greatness in education must be recognized and rewarded."

Dubbed the "Oscars of Teaching" by Teacher Magazine, the Milken National Educator Awards were established in 1985 to reward, retain and attract the highest caliber professionals for our nation's schools. The award alternates each year between elementary and secondary educators. To date, 42 North Carolina educators have received this award, sharing a total of over $1 million. Nationally, over $58 million has been awarded since the program’s inception.

To receive additional information on the Milken Educator Awards, the National Education Conference, or other Milken Family Foundation programs, please call 310.570.4775 or visit the Milken Family Foundation Web site, For information about the awards presented in North Carolina, please contact the NCDPI's Communications division at 919.807.3450.

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.