A teacher at University Park Elementary School in Monroeville today became the state's 51st winner of the national Milken Educator Award, which comes with a $25,000 cash prize.
Jennifer Hoffner-Turkowski was the only recipient in the state this year.
She was surprised with the award this morning at a school assembly attended by state education secretary Ron Tomalis and Jane Foley, senior vice president of the milken Educator Awards and the Milken Family Foundation.
The foundation will present up to 40 awards across the country this year.
"I'm completely overwhelmed," Ms. Hoffner-Turkowski said, quickly adding that the award belongs not just to her but to the entire staff at University Park.
Ms. Hoffner-Turkowski has taught first grade for eight years at her school, part of the Gateway School District, and serves as the district-wide first grade team leader.
She also developed the school-wide improvement plan and grade-level remedial and advanced lessons in reading and math.
Also at the assembly were past Milken Award winners including Steve Scoville, a teacher at Brasher High School who won in 2011, Yvonne Weaver, a former principal in the Trinity Area School District who won in 1998, and Edward Henke, a teacher from Langley High School who won in 1997.
Mary Niederberger: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1590.