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Discovery Middle School teacher wins $25,000

Kelsey Cooper, a math teacher for Madison City Schools, received the Milken Educator Award.

MADISON, Alabama — In a surprise assembly on Friday morning Kelsey Cooper, an eighth-grade math teacher at Discovery Middle School, received a $25,000 Milken Educator Award for her excellence and innovation in education. 

Cooper and her students were sitting in the bleachers when the Milken Foundation Representative announced that she was among sixty recipients of this year's award. 

"Mrs. Cooper is one teacher that always brings energy into the classroom every day," eighth grader Arnag Maskey said. "She actually brought us donuts today because we helped her out with another class, and she's one of those teachers that the way she teaches is so unique."

Milken Educator Awards Senior Vice President Dr. Jane Foley and Alabama State Superintendent of Public Education Dr. Eric Mackey surprised Cooper at the ceremony. 

Dr. Mackey says, "My best words for Mrs. Cooper are, thank you for every day getting up, coming to work, investing in children, and committing yourself to do what's best for the children of this school and in this community."

Hailed as the “Oscars of Teaching,” the Milken Educator Awards celebrate, elevate and activate the American teaching profession and inspire young, capable people to join it.

“We extend our state’s sincere congratulations to Madison City School System teacher Kelsey Cooper for being named a national Milken Educator,” said State Superintendent of Education, Dr. Eric Mackey. “Providing students with both real-world and group-oriented learning experiences has been shown to be an effective classroom tool. Milken Educator Kelsey Cooper has developed a dynamic learning environment within her local school system, which promotes K-12 mathematics knowledge, independent student thinking, and advanced problem-solving. Her commitment to furthering student achievement using innovative technology and best practice classroom instruction is truly an outstanding example of educational leadership. With the consistent support from her local school system, parents, and wonderful colleagues, Mrs. Cooper has been able to inspire students to thrive academically at even greater levels of achievement. The state of Alabama is truly thankful to the Milken Family Foundation for this wonderful opportunity it has created for highly qualified educators to be recognized nationally, for their classroom and teaching success. Milken Educator Kelsey Cooper is an outstanding example of K-12 excellence.”

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