WATCH NJ teacher hearing she’s won ‘Oscar’ of teaching awards
If anyone who knows I'm married to a teacher thinks I'm writing about this because I know the teacher or anyone else in this video, you're wrong. I don't. I'm only writing about this because it's nice to see someone so genuinely shocked and happy at being recognized for their hard work no matter the field.
The Milken Award is described by Teacher magazine as the "Oscars of Teaching". As a teacher you don't apply for it. Nor are nominations accepted for it. People win it by a confidential process and get reviewed by blue ribbon panels from state departments of education. So it's a really, really big deal.
Math teacher Toni-Ann Palmisano thought she was just part of the crowd that was packed in the gym at Secaucus Middle School to hear NJ Commissioner of Education give a speech on college preparation. The commissioner was there alright, but the secret reason was that the Milken Award was being given to one of the teachers at the school. Only 43 other teachers in the entire nation received it. When she heard the Milken was about to be awarded you can tell from the look on her face Toni-Ann still had no thought that it could possibly be her. When they call her name, the video shows her absolute joy and surprise.
Palmisano has been at the school for nearly a decade and is well known for her crazy math songs she uses in her lessons. She connects with kids deep down as the individuals they are and figures out on a one on one basis how to make that particular student grow. Appreciative? You bet. She said, "What this means to me can't even be expressed using words. I in no way ever, ever could have imagined that this can happen. I do what I do because I love every single moment."
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