NEWS RELEASES 2015-16 :: OCTOBER 15, 2015


Best day ever? If you were to ask Chatham Central High (Chatham County Schools) Science Teacher Eric Patin that question he would undoubtedly say yes as today he was named North Carolina’s 2015 Milken Educator Award recipient and received an unrestricted check in the amount of $25,000. Patin joins up to 40 other educators nationwide to receive the award this year.

State Superintendent June Atkinson, who participated in the surprise announcement during a schoolwide assembly, said, "One of the highest compliments any teacher could receive is knowing that students request you for their teacher and this is true for Eric. He is well respected by students and fellow teachers. Chatham Central High is fortunate to have him on staff; and North Carolina is fortunate to have him in its teaching ranks."

Patin earned an associate’s degree in science in May 1996 from Grand Rapids Community College, a bachelor's degree in microbiology in May 1999 from the University of Michigan, and his secondary teaching certification in April 2004 from Eastern Michigan University. He achieved National Board Certification in 2013.

He is chair of Chatham Central High’s Science Department, a member of the School Improvement Team and a Teacher-Leader Cohort. He also is head coach of the men’s tennis team and an assistant coach for the varsity football team.

Patin has taught for eight years, seven at Chatham Central High.

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

Selection 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.

“Eric Patin’s dedication to bringing out the best in his students is evident in everything he does,” said Dr. Jane Foley, senior vice president of the Milken Educator Awards. “He tailors instruction to individual needs, ties lesson plans to tangible, real-world experiences, and helps prepare them for college and careers. His teaching has made a lasting impact on his students, and we look forward to following his work to shape young people into productive citizens."

Called the “Oscars of Teaching” by Teacher magazine, the Milken National Educator Awards were first presented 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.

Since joining the Milken Educator Awards program in 1994, 48 North Carolina educators have received the award, sharing a total of $1.2 million. Nationally, over $66 million has been awarded to more than 2,600 K–12 teachers, principals and specialists.

New recipients are invited to join the Milken Educator Network, a group of distinguished educators whose expertise serves as a valuable resource to fellow educators, legislators, school boards and others shaping the future of education.

To receive additional information, visit the Milken Educator Awards’ website or contact Jana Rausch, senior manager, Media and Public Affairs, Milken Family Foundation.