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For Immediate Release
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Contact:Heidi Guarino 781-338-3106

Unsuspecting Educators Surprised With Unexpected $25,000 Awards

BOSTON - Two Boston teachers each got an unexpected $25,000 bonus from Boston Mayor Tom Menino and education officials on Tuesday when they were lured into assemblies at their schools and presented a 2007 Milken Family Foundation National Educator award.

Both Matthew Dugan, a science teacher at Madison Park Technical Vocational High School and Anne Clark, an English teacher at Boston Arts Academy were unaware they had even been nominated for the national award until their names were called out.

They are two of the nearly 80 educators across the country receiving Milken awards this year in recognition of their excellence in the classroom and commitment to students.

"Excellent teachers and administrators are what make our schools the very best," said Acting Education Commissioner Jeffrey Nellhaus. "Matthew and Anne are dedicated and committed educators who have found ways to keep their students engaged and excited about learning. They are two of the many outstanding teachers in our public schools, and deserve to be honored for their creativity, dedication and focus on achievement for all students."

Boston Superintendent Carol Johnson agreed.

"The great success of public education is based on the powerful relationships that teachers build with their students," said Superintendent Johnson. "Matthew and Anne are to be honored for their tremendous dedication and unwavering support of their students and for the inspiration they provide in their schools."

"The Boston Public Schools have experienced tremendous improvement in student achievement for more than a decade and that improvement is because of the dedicated teachers we are fortunate to have in this city," said Mayor Menino. "Matthew and Anne make school exciting for their students and help teach them the value of a good education. I am thankful to them, and all of their colleagues, for the work they do on behalf of our students every day."

Dugan is now in his ninth year of teaching science. Colleagues lauded him for his enthusiasm, his commitment to continuing his own education through professional development opportunities and his ability to motivate and excite his students about science. He is also credited with launching Madison Park's Robotics Program after writing a grant to get it started, and then continuing to build support for it from outside agencies, including the Raytheon Corporation.

"Mr. Dugan truly exemplifies the enthusiasm and commitment a teacher should have to further the education of his students," said Madison Park Headmaster Charles McAfee, a 1999 Milken Award winner. "He is a truly dedicated teacher who will continue to do great things in the future."

Clark is in her 12th year of teaching English. Boston Arts Academy Headmaster Linda Nathan praised her for her leadership, dedication to mentoring new teachers, success in working with students of varying abilities and ability to stay ahead of the curve in education.

"I think what most defines Anne as an excellent educator is her ability to think beyond her own classroom and her own students," Nathan wrote in her nomination letter. "Anne knows that a good teacher can only reach her own students, but a good school can reach many more. As such, Anne has played a key role to ensure that BAA continues to be an excellent school. There is no one more deserving of this award."

Known as the "Oscars of Teaching," the Milken awards were established in 1985 by the Milken Family Foundation. To date more than $58 million has been awarded to more than 2,300 recipients, including 35 in Massachusetts. The awards were created by the foundation as a way to reward, attract and retain top educators in the nation's public schools.

Recipients each receive a check for $25,000, a trip to Los Angeles for a conference and awards ceremony, and membership in the network of previous Milken winners. This is the 11th year Massachusetts has participated in the program.

Massachusetts' recipients were selected by an independent statewide Blue Ribbon panel of principals, teachers and other educators. Predetermined criteria for the award include exceptional educational talent and promise, skill in developing innovative and creative curricula and programs, commitment to professional development, and ability to instill self-confidence in students.

Brothers Lowell and Michael Milken established the Milken Family Foundation in 1982 to support education and health care nationwide. The educator recognition program is the largest in the United States.

For more information on the Milken National Educator Awards, check the Foundation's Web site at

Last Updated: October 9, 2007
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