NEWS RELEASES 2014-15 :: OCTOBER 17, 2014


Angie Sigmon, a K-3 teacher at Shuford Elementary School in Conover (Newton-Conover City Schools), today was named North Carolina's latest Milken Educator Award winner and the recipient of a $25,000 prize.

State Superintendent June Atkinson made the surprise announcement during a school-wide assembly. Sigmon is among up to 40 outstanding elementary educators who will receive the Milken Educator Award for the 2014–15 school year, which carries with it an unrestricted financial award of $25,000 and membership in a network of over 2,600 past recipients from across the nation.

State Superintendent June Atkinson said, "In her 13-year career, Angie has inspired her students and colleagues alike to unlock learning potential with technology, to try new things, to help one another and to always believe in themselves. She represents her profession well and we are so fortunate that she has chosen to share her passion and talents with North Carolina’s students and teachers."

Sigmon’s colleagues note that she leads by example and always models for her students and fellow teachers how to act, engage and follow through with tasks in a successful way. Co-workers say that she spends countless hours planning for lessons, promoting community involvement among her students, fundraising for field trips and building a love of technology in her classroom and throughout her school. Her hard work, encouragement and her belief that every student can be a leader enables her students to grow academically and socially. In 2013-14, for example, less than 50 percent of her students were at grade level in math and reading at the beginning of the year. By the end of the year approximately 80 percent of students were performing at grade level or above and all students made their growth goals.

In addition to boosting student growth, Sigmon is a respected leader in her school and district, particularly in the area of using technology to improve instruction. She currently serves as grade-level chair for second and third grade and is the School-Wide Assistance Team chairperson. She is an Instructional Consultation Team Facilitator, a Technology Team member and she was selected to host the school’s iPad pilot classroom and open her classroom to visitors from other districts. She has created numerous model lesson plans that focus on technology integration, conducted district-wide technology training for teachers and monthly technology training for Shuford Elementary School staff and she is an active blogger on the district’s iPad blog. In addition, Sigmon was appointed as the Second Grade Common Core District Representative and helps to align writing rubric and quarterly math assessments to these standards.

She was named the Shuford Elementary First Year Teacher of the Year in 2002, Teacher of the Year in 2007 and 2011 and the Newton-Conover City Schools Teacher of the Year in 2012. Sigmon also is National Board Certified.

Sigmon earned a bachelor's degree in elementary education and psychology and a master's degree in reading education (K-12) from Appalachian State University.

An independent, blue ribbon committee appointed by each state's department of education selects the potential award recipients for submission to the Milken Foundation. Recipients can be exceptional elementary and secondary school teachers, principals, or specialists who are furthering excellence in the nation's schools.

Predetermined criteria include 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 worthy of the spotlight; early-to-mid-career educators who offer strong, long-term potential for professional and policy leadership; and an engaging and inspiring presence that motivates and impacts students, colleagues and the community.

“One of the remarkable gifts of a leader is the ability to create leaders in others. That’s what Angie Sigmon is doing with her students every day,” said Dr. Jane Foley, senior vice president of the Milken Educator Awards and a 1994 Milken Educator Award recipient from Indiana. “We are excited to welcome Angie into the Milken Educator Network. Judging by the significant gains that students have already made under her tutelage, the future shines bright for every student who has been lucky to call Angie ‘teacher’.”

The Milken National Educator Awards was established in 1987 to reward, retain and attract the highest caliber professionals for our nation's schools. The award alternates each year between elementary and secondary educators. In the past 20 years, 47 North Carolina educators have received this award, sharing a total of $1.175 million. Nationally, over $65 million has been awarded since the program's inception.

To receive additional information on the Milken Educator Awards, please contact Ana Beatriz Cholo at or 312.927.4845 or visit You also can follow the Awards at,, and


About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 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.