This week, Colin DeGroot, a science teacher at ASK Academy charter school in Rio Rancho New Mexico, was honored with the Milken Educator Award. This prestigious award, known as the “Oscars of Teaching,” is an annual recognition given to outstanding educators and includes a $25,000 individual prize.
DeGroot is known for encouraging his students to “be an expert” and take ownership of their learning. His research-based approach to science education includes project-based learning that makes classroom concepts come alive through real-world application. In addition to leading the science department at ASK Academy, DeGroot has a fellowship that enables him to conduct workshops for science and research educators throughout New Mexico.
The Milken Educator Awards were created by Milken Family Foundation to attract, retain and motivate outstanding talent to the teaching profession. Since 1987, the Milken Family Foundation has devoted more than $138 million in funding to the Milken Educator Awards, including over $66 million in individual awards to more than 2,600 recipients, plus powerful professional development opportunities and networking with leading education stakeholders.
Research indicates that an effective teacher has more impact on student achievement than any other factor. That’s why the National Alliance works to protect charter schools’ freedom to build a team of educators to address their students’ needs. The National Alliance congratulates DeGroot’s achievement and continues to support educators and school leaders who are committed to excellence in education.
Colin DeGroot with his 2015-16 Milken Educator Award is joined by Dr. Jane Foley, senior vice president of the Milken Educator Awards (far left); New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez (second from right); and New Mexico Secretary of Education Hanna Skandera (far right). Source: Milken Educator Award website.