|For Immediate Release|
|Thursday, October 11, 2012|
|Contact:||JC Considine 781-338-3112|
Westwood Principal Surprised with National Milken Award and $25,000 Award
WESTWOOD - State education officials and a foundation representative surprised a Westwood elementary school principal with a 2012 Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award and an unrestricted financial award of $25,000.
Allan W. Cameron, Jr., the principal of the Deerfield Elementary School in Westwood, is the state's 40th Milken Award winner. He is the only Massachusetts recipient in 2012-13 and one of up to 40 recipients across the country. The Milken awards provide public recognition to exemplary elementary and secondary school teachers, principals, and specialists who are furthering excellence in education.
"I want to congratulate Mr. Cameron for his hard work and commitment to his students, faculty and community, earning him this outstanding award," said Governor Deval Patrick. "My deepest thanks go to him and all of the exceptional educators across the Commonwealth who work to educate and motivate students every day, preparing them for success as individual learners, responsible citizens, and leaders within their communities."
Cameron's award was presented by Dr. Jane Foley, the senior vice president of the Milken Educator Awards and a former Milken recipient herself, Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester, and Deputy Education Commissioner Alan Ingram.
"We are fortunate to have so many outstanding educators in Massachusetts, and Allan is a terrific choice to represent the excellence we see across the profession," said Chester. "Allan is committed to his school's continuous improvement, and his leadership has earned the respect of teachers and parents."
"I commend Mr. Cameron and all of our educators across the state for their hard work to build school environments that empower young learners to develop into the future leaders of our Commonwealth, our nation and our world," said Secretary of Education Paul Reville.
An independent statewide Blue Ribbon panel of principals, teachers and other educators review dozens of educator portfolios and submit those to the Milken Family Foundation. The Foundation makes the final selection of recipients. 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 the ability to instill self-confidence in students.
Cameron began his career as a classroom teacher at an elementary school in Westport, CT. After serving as a clinical faculty member at Boston College, he was an assistant principal at the Lawrence School in Brookline. Cameron has served as principal at Deerfield School since July 2008. He is also an elected school committee member in his hometown of Walpole.
Deerfield School has seen important gains under Cameron's leadership as MCAS scores have risen, student discipline problems have declined, and family involvement in the school has increased. Cameron holds high expectations for students and staff, and has fostered a positive, successful learning environment that has led to increased educator effectiveness and commitment. According to the results of an anonymous survey distributed by the school site council, more than 84 percent of staff members and parents rated Cameron's leadership as excellent.
Second-grade teacher Terese Hardy wrote that "the staff feels supported, engaged, willing to take risks, reflective, and thus the teaching and learning is exceptional." Hardy added that Cameron is "a genuine, caring individual and a committed educator always working to improve the process. He is supportive of his staff and holds strong on decisions that are made with the children's best interest in mind."
The Milken Educator Awards were first presented by the Milken Family Foundation in 1987. Massachusetts joined the program in 1997. Since then, more than $1 million has been awarded to recipients in Massachusetts. Recipients can use their $25,000 award in any way they choose. Awards alternate yearly between elementary and secondary educators.
For more information on the Milken Family Foundation National Educator Awards program, visit the Foundation's website at http://www.mff.org/.